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For Immediate Release
Friday, September 27, 2013
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

Founders of 7 Proposed Charter Schools Invited to Submit Full Applications

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today invited the founders of seven proposed charter schools to move to the next stage of the 2013-14 charter school application process and submit a full application.

Final applications are due back to the Department by Friday, October 25, 2013. Once applications are received, Department staff and external review panelists with expertise in education, business, law, and organizational structure will review and evaluate each of them. In addition, the Department will hold public hearings in the areas where the founding groups propose to open a school. The Department will also conduct a review of any public comment submitted. Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester will then review all of the materials and make his recommendation on awarding new charters to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Board will vote to award new charters at its February 2014 meeting.

A total of ten prospectuses were submitted in August from groups hoping to ultimately receive approval this year to open new charter schools in Massachusetts.

The proposed schools invited to submit full applications are:

Commonwealth Charter School ProspectusesDistrict or RegionOpening
Academy for the Whole Child Charter SchoolFitchburg2014K-5360
Argosy Collegiate Charter SchoolFall River20146-12644
Fenix Charter SchoolLynn20145-12600
Innovation Academy Charter SchoolFall River20147-13560
Lynn Prepartory Charter SchoolLynn2014K-8360
Springfield Prep Charter SchoolSpringfield2015K-8486
STEAM Studio Charter SchoolAndover20149-12450

In January 2010, the Patrick Administration 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. Since February 2011, the Board has awarded 25 new charters, which at maximum enrollment will enroll nearly 12,000 students.

For applicants that must demonstrate that they qualify as proven providers, the submission of a final application is contingent on the Commissioner's granting of proven provider status. The determination of proven provider status will occur in the coming weeks. Six of the seven founding groups invited to submit full applications must meet proven provider status. The lone exception is the STEAM Studio Charter School in Andover.

For more information on charter schools, visit Massachusetts Charter Schools.

Last Updated: September 27, 2013
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