Bill Would Lift Cap on Mass. Charters

Monday, April 15, 2013

An Andover lawmaker has filed legislation that would lift the charter-school cap on the state's 30 lowest-performing school districts, including Lowell, Gardner, and Fitchburg, a move praised as creating more options for nontraditional education and criticized for taking state dollars away from the public system.

"If we're serious about giving kids a good education and serious about the Massachusetts dream, it's time to lift the cap on charter schools; the one size fits all approach doesn't work," state Sen. Barry Finegold said at a Statehouse lobby day attended by 700 charter-school students, staff, and parents.

The legislation, filed by Finegold, would exempt charter schools in the lowest 10 percent of performing districts from the state cap of 72 charter schools. It would allow more charter schools in higher-performing districts, as well as unlimited charter schools in low-performing districts.

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