CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampden Charter School of Science in Chicopee is one of three schools that’s applying for a new charter for the 2017.
Five groups applied to either open or expand charter schools in Massachusetts in July.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced on Tuesday that three groups will now move forward in that application process.
Those schools include the Hampden Charter School of Science II, in the Agawam, Westfield area, Equity Lab in Lynn, and Old Sturbridge Academy, in the Brimfield, Sturbridge area.
A statute requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve charters in at least two “underperforming” school districts, before they’re allowed to consider future proposals. All three of the schools currently being considered for charters fall under that category.
The Department of Education said the schools will now have to submit their final applications by November.
They’ll then review the proposals, and hold public hearings in the districts. Residents will get a chance to comment on the proposals at those hearings.
The Department is expected to take a final vote on the charters at their annual meeting in February.
This comes as the debate on charter schools continues to heat up in Massachusetts.
In November, voters will decide whether the state’s cap on charter schools should be lifted.
Opponents of the ballot question worry that more charter schools could mean less money for public schools. Proponents argue that it will give parents and students in underperforming school districts more options.
Charter schools are public, but operate separately from public school districts.