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State Board of Ed will allow some rejected 2015 charter school applicants a second chance

Members of the State Board of Education called a brief session today to consider a proposal that would allow 2015 charter school applicants who didn’t make it to the interview stage of the application process a second chance at opening a charter school in the fall of 2015.

Becky Taylor, State Board of Ed member and Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB) member, explained to fellow State Board members that out of 63 applicants wishing to open charter schools in Fall 2015, 42 were not invited to the interview stage of the application process.

Despite the low number of charter school applications moving forward, Taylor insisted repeatedly that the process the Charter School Advisory Board used to evaluate applications was exhaustive and thorough.

Nonetheless, Taylor said CSAB heard complaints from some applicants who said that when they sat through a subcommittee’s review of their applications, issues arose that could have been clarified had they been allowed to interject. The review process currently does not allow charter school applicants to interact with CSAB members until they reach the interview stage, although they are allowed to witness the review in person.

Office of Charter Schools staff member Zane Stillwell worked up a proposal to allow any of the 42 charter school applicants who were denied interviews a chance to petition the CSAB for a second chance.

By May 2, applicants must submit a petition to the CSAB outlining their reasons for reconsideration, which should only pertain to issues that came up during the initial review. No new information can be considered, according to Taylor.

State Board members approved the proposal. Decisions regarding who gets an interview will be made by May 20, and the additional interviews will be conducted no later than July 1.

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