(Raleigh News observer) The State Board of Education is expected to give preliminary approval to 25 new charter schools Thursday, putting them on track to accept students in fall 2013.
The board will vote on all 25 proposed schools together, approving or denying their applications as one.
It would be the largest group of charter schools to get the board’s stamp since the legislature lifted the 100-school cap on charters last year. Earlier this year, the board approved nine new charter schools under a “fast-track” program; seven of those are now in operation.
Charter schools are public schools that receive tax money, but they operate without some of the constraints of regular public schools.
Proponents of charter schools say they give parents another option for their children’s education. Critics say they siphon money out of regular public schools, tend to have less racial diversity, and get less oversight because the state can’t afford the staff to monitor them.
Sixty-three groups had applied to start new charter schools, and the state’s Charter School Advisory Council evaluated each application based on a range of criteria, including each school’s mission statement, education programs, special education, staff, business plan, transportation, health and safety, and facilities. The 25 being voted on Thursday had the best rankings of those that applied.
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