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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Approves 4 New Charter Schools

MALDEN - The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted today to grant charters to the founders of four proposed charter schools.

A total of seven charter school prospectuses were submitted during the 2011-2012 cycle last August, and applicants for all seven were invited to submit final proposals for consideration in September 2011. After one group withdrew its application, a total of six final applications were submitted in November 2011. Last week, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester recommended that the Board approve four new charters from the group of six finalists.

The new charter schools include:

3 Commonwealth Charter Schools:

  • The Baystate Academy Charter School will open in fall 2013. The school will be located in Springfield and will enroll a maximum of 560 students in grades 6-12.
  • The Collegiate Charter School of Lowell will open in fall 2013. The school will be located in Lowell and enroll a maximum of 1,200 students in grades K-12.
  • The Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School will open in fall 2012. The regional school will be located in Holyoke and include the towns of West Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield, South Hadley and Northampton. The school will enroll a maximum of 500 students in grades 9-12.

1 Horace Mann Charter School:

  • The Dudley Street Neighborhood School will open in fall 2012. The school will be located in Boston and enroll a maximum of 308 students in grades K1-5.

Commonwealth charter schools are fully autonomous and operate independently of the local school district. Horace Mann charter schools are developed and operated in close cooperation with the host school district, and require approval by the local school committee.

The Patrick-Murray Administration's Achievement Gap Act of 2010 raised the charter school cap in the lowest performing school districts and made a number of changes to the charter authorizing process. The cap on district net school spending under the Achievement Gap Act is being raised from 9 percent to a maximum of 18 percent through incremental steps. The cap lift only applies to districts with academic performance in the lowest 10 percent as measured by MCAS, and applicants under the cap lift must have a proven track record of success in increasing academic attainment and commit to working with a diverse population of students. Sixteen charter schools were approved last year after the cap was raised.



Last Updated: February 28, 2012
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