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Mass. Board Approves 16 New Charter Schools

This article is more than 8 years old.

A state board has given the green light to 16 proposed new charter schools in Massachusetts.

The schools are located in Boston, New Bedford, Lawrence, Chelsea, Salem and Springfield.

State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester had recommended approval of 14 Commonwealth charter schools and three Horace Mann charter schools.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Monday rejected the application for the Lynn Preparatory Charter School, a Commonwealth charter school, but approved all of the other schools recommended by Chester.

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 of the local school committee.

The 16 charters were approved despite concerns about whether the independent public schools devote enough attention to children who need help learning English.

Board Vice Chair Herneen Chernow voted against several of the charters.

"I don't see a great, kind of, acknowledgment and awareness from some of these existing charters that they actually have not done a good job with this population and have a lot to learn going forward," Chernow said.

State Education Secretary Paul Reville says regulators will pay closer attention to the language issue.

"I think this has some urgency here, particularly with respect to the enrollment issues which we can make a judgment on pretty quickly," he said. "I would hope that becomes a regular reporting mechanism."

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and the Associated Press.

This program aired on February 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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