New charter schools coming soon
This morning the State Board of Education authorized three new public charter schools. A forth charter school group will be heard at the next Board of Education meeting in August. It has been a challenging year for charter school applicants but the budget has been signed, the funding process has been fixed and soon New Hampshire children will have some exciting new options in public education.
The Center would like to thank the State Board of Education and the Department of Education for moving quickly to address charter school applicants after the state budget deal was struck. Within 48 hours of negotiations concluding, Commissioner Barry had met with four charter school applicants and the Board of Education had scheduled those groups to meet with the Board this morning.
The groups approved today were:
The Founders Academy Charter School (Londonderry area)
Gate City Charter School (Nashua area)
Mountain Village Charter School (Plymouth area)
Granite State Academy for the Arts (Derry area, will present in August)
Legislature fixes moratorium
Last September under advice from the State Attorney General's office, the Board of Education denied all pending charter school applications. This session the state legislature moved to fix the law and prevent that from happening again.
Language was developed with bipartisan support in the Senate Finance Committee. That language accomplished two important goals. First it created a mechanism to fund newly approved charter schools regardless of when in the biennium they are authorized. Second it clarified that state funding or the "Lack of state funding alone shall not constitute grounds for the denial of an application".
We now have separation between the entity that approves or denies charter school applications based on their merits and the entity which funds public schools. This separation provides certainty for the State Board of Education while retaining the rights of the people to hold their state legislators accountable. We applaud the Governor and the state legislature for increasing options for all children in the state.
The Center joins "The Facebook"
If you haven't heard already the Center recently joined the world of social media on the interweb. Check out our Facebook page for updates on all things charter schools.