AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The legislature's education committee is looking into a number of bills that would change how charter schools are funded.

Right now both state and local funds follow students from their current public school to the charter school. Some lawmakers want to change that, either by reducing the amount of money that local districts have to pay or by creating a separate pool of money that the state would use to fund charter schools. Supporters of a change, including the Maine Education Association, say local school districts near charter schools are getting hit hard by a loss of funds.

Lois Kilby-Chesley, the President of the MEA said, "What we have to consider is times are difficult for public schools now too and we have to be thinking about those schools first. The priority should be for the public schools."

Those who support charter schools, though, say these bills are just a back door way to defund these schools before anyone has been able to see whether they're working.

Glenn Cummings, the executive director of the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences said, "We're playing by a certain set of rules, and we're only 7 and a half months into those rules, and so to have them changed is -- really is very threatening to us."

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