|For Immediate Release|
|Tuesday, December 30, 1997|
Hearing Dates Are Set For Public Comment On New Charter Schools
Malden - Massachusetts Education Commissioner Robert V. Antonucci announced today that three hearings will be held in January to receive public comment on establishing new public charter schools throughout the state.
The public hearings will be held: Tuesday, January 13, from 4-6 p.m., at the Rodileau Campus Center, at Bridgewater State College, in Bridgewater; Wednesday, January 14, from 4-6 p.m. in Wilson Auditorium, at Westfield State College, in Westfield; and Thursday, January 15, from 4-6 p.m., at the Massachusetts Department of Education, 350 Main Street, in Malden.
Commissioner Antonucci said, "These public hearings will provide information that will be helpful as the Board of Education and I evaluate thirty-five proposals to create new charter schools. I encourage all interested people to participate, either by speaking at the hearing, attending, or submitting comments in writing."
If there is a large number of people attending, speakers will be limited to three minutes apiece to ensure that all who wish to speak may testify. Alternatively, interested parties may submit written statements by January 23 to the Massachusetts Department of Education, One Ashburton Place, Boston, 02108.
Last summer, the state cap on the number of charter schools was raised from twenty-five to fifty charters. Earlier in December, sixty-one applications for new charters were evaluated. Of these, thirty-five applicants sufficiently met the criteria necessary for creating a new charter school, and they were invited to submit more detailed applications by January 5, 1998, for further consideration.
Currently, there are 24 charter schools operating in Massachusetts.
The final phase in the approval process includes a rigorous peer review, evaluation by school district superintendents, and interviews, in addition to the public hearings. The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on granting charters at the end of February 1998.