|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, September 10, 1998|
|Contact:||Jan O'Keefe Feldman|
Thirteen New Charters Available for Charter Schools - Applications Due October 16
Malden - Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll urged interested teachers, parents and members of the public to consider applying to open 5 new Commonwealth and 8 new Horace Mann charter schools in 1999, noting that the deadline for initial applications for the new schools is October 16.
Commonwealth charter schools are independent public schools given the freedom to organize their activities around a core mission, curriculum or teaching method, and they set their own budgets as well as manage their own staff. Horace Mann charter schools operate under a charter approved by the local school committee and by the local collective bargaining agent.
This year, 30 Commonwealth and 4 Horace Mann charter schools will be open, enrolling more than 10,000 students from over 180 districts. Additionally, charters for two Commonwealth schools and one Horace Mann school were awarded by the Board of Education in March 1998, and the schools are expected to open in September of 1999.
In July 1997, the statewide cap on the total number of charter schools, including Commonwealth and Horace Mann schools, was raised by statute from twenty-five to fifty.
Commissioner Driscoll said, " Applying for a charter is an exciting opportunity to create new, innovative and effective public schools from scratch. I am committed to giving each application a fair and thorough review."
Important timelines for the application process are: October 16, 1998 - Prospectus due; November 13, 1998 - applicants will be notified if they have been selected to submit a final application; December 11, 1998 - Final Application due. In February 1999, after considering recommendations by Commissioner Driscoll and Associate Commissioner for Charter Schools Scott Hamilton, the Board of Education will vote on new charters.
For charter school information and to receive an application, call the Massachusetts Department of Education at 617-727-0075, or visit our website at http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/.