February 26, 2013

Boston Globe: Charter school proposal for Brockton passed over by state

By Christine Legere
Boston Globe Correspondent / February 23, 2013

A proposal to build a charter school in Brockton has failed to make the short list being recommended to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval on Tuesday.
“They’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their monopoly,” Afonso said. “It’s about power and money.”
Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester backed five new charter applications on a list of 11 finalists. The International Charter School of Brockton was one of six that did not make the cut.

Chester’s Feb. 15 decision takes the proposal for Brockton off the table, said state education spokesman J.C. Considine.

“The board only votes on proposals that the commissioner recommends,” he said.

Chester has recommended City on a Hill Charter Public School II in Boston, UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester, City on a Hill Charter Public School in New Bedford, Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School in Springfield, and Pioneer Charter School of Science II, serving Saugus, Peabody, Lynn, Danvers, and Salem.

The proposed Brockton charter school would have opened in 2014 with 540 students in kindergarten through Grade 5, and gradually expanded to 1,200 students through Grade 12. A nine-member board of trustees, consisting of community members and area business leaders who belong to the founding group, would oversee the school, while Sabis Educational Systems operated it. The international for-profit company runs charter schools in Springfield and Holyoke.

While Sabis has a proven track record in the state, Considine said the charter goes not to the company but to the founding group.

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