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Charter School Foes, Advocates Await Votes

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A pair of bills that could make it harder to open more charter schools are again up for committee votes at the Statehouse. The House bill would place a...

The House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee delayed a vote on charter schools Tuesday.

A pair of bills that could make it harder to open more charter schools are again up for committee votes at the Statehouse.

The House bill would place a one-year pause on the creation of new charter schools. After a legislative committee found reasons to re-evaluate the way the state funds public charter schools and public school districts, the bill calls for more time for lawmakers to consider changes.

Both the House bill and a similar Senate bill call for tougher restrictions on new charter schools and charter school expansions. The bills would require multiple approvals, one from the local school committee and another from the city or town council, in addition to approval from the State Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.

The House bill would require General Assembly approval for new charter schools or expansions at existing charter schools.

The Senate bill differs slightly, in that it would cap charter school funding from local districts at the current fiscal year level. That would appear to mean no additional funding from local districts for new charter schools, or for new seats planned at existing charter schools.

While the Senate bill does not call for a re-evaluation of the funding formula for public schools, the cap on funding from local districts would likely have a chilling effect.

Advocates for and against the bills have scheduled rallies Tuesday at the Statehouse, in advance of possible committee votes.

Charter School Foes, Advocates Await Votes
Charter School Foes, Advocates Await Votes