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Twelve groups petitioning for charter school authorization

schoolACROSS MISSISSIPPI — A dozen groups have filed applications for the first charter schools in Mississippi.

Charter School Authorizer Board chairman Tommie Cardin released Saturday the list of groups that met the 5 p.m. Friday deadline.

Lawmakers in 2013 approved an expanded law allowing charter schools — public schools run by private groups that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for less regulation — after a two-year fight.

The board is scheduled to vote on approvals in June. Board members have said they will be focused on making sure applicants pass a high bar, to guarantee effective schools.

Though the board has left open the possibility that schools could open in the fall, it has encouraged applicants to aim for fall 2015 as a more realistic goal.

Here’s the list of a dozen applications filed by Friday’s deadline for charter schools in Mississippi (the list includes the applicants, grade levels and the respective affected school districts):

— New Destiny Preparatory Academy (K-5): Meridian Public

— Jackson Developmental Academy for Pregnant & Parenting Teens (6-12): Jackson Public

— Reimagine Prep (5-8): Jackson Public

— Greater Refuge Preparatory Academy: Canton (K-8): Canton Public

— Greater Refuge Preparatory Academy: Jackson (K-8): Jackson Public

— Emerge Community STEAM Charter School (K-8): Tunica County

— Excellence Academy (K-5): North Panola

— Sojourner Truth Academy of Science, Arts and Technology School (K-8): Leake County

— Phoenix Early College Charter School (9-12): Natchez-Adams

— Inspire Charter School STEM & ARTS Scholars Academy (K-6;9): Columbus Municipal

— Dubois STEM & ARTS Prep Academy of Tunica (K-6): Tunica County

— PALS Charter School Amite County (K-12): Amite County


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