Eight public hearings scheduled on eleven charter school final applications

[DESE media release]

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has announced that eight public hearings have been scheduled across the state to invite community members to comment on this year's eleven charter school final applications.

Charter school founding groups who submitted a final application for a Massachusetts public charter school will undergo a rigorous review process over the next three months. The public hearings represent an opportunity for interested parties to provide feedback on the finalists. At least one member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will attend each hearing and report back to the full Board on the public testimony provided at each hearing.

In addition to the hearings, members of the public can submit written comments through Friday, January 4, 2013, to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Charter School Office, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148 or by email to charterschools@doe.mass.edu.

Public hearings will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the following locations:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Boston
Curtis Hall Community Center, 20 South Street, Jamaica Plain

Monday, December 3, 2012 - Lawrence
Lawrence Public Library Main Branch - Meeting Room, 51 Lawrence Street, Lawrence

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Springfield
YMCA, 275 Chestnut Street #1, Springfield

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - New Bedford
New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park, Corson Maritime Learning Center, 33 William Street, New Bedford

Monday, December 10, 2012 - Saugus
Saugus Public Library, 295 Central Street, Saugus

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - Woburn
Woburn City Hall, 10 Common Street, Woburn

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - Fall River
Fall River Public Library, 104 N. Main Street, Fall River

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - Brockton
Brockton Public Library, Main Library, 304 Main Street, Brockton

The final application process includes a rigorous review of the written final application by a review team, an interview of the applicant group by the Charter School Office, public hearings in the areas where schools are proposed to be located, and a review of any public comments offered to ESE. Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester will then review all of the materials and make final recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for consideration and vote at its February 26, 2013 meeting.

The founders of twelve proposed charter schools were invited to submit final applications during this year's application cycle. One of those proposed schools, Match Next Charter Public School in Boston, chose not to submit a final application.

For a list of applicant schools and more information, please visit the DESE website, http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=7121.