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Next week: charter renewals, not expansions

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It looks like next week's School Reform Commission meeting on June 16 will finally take up the renewals of 11 charter schools seeking another five-year charter but will not address requests by a number of charters that had hoped to expand their grade configurations and student enrollments in the fall.

The renewals are "in the hands of the SRC," said Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, "and they’ve asked lots and lots of questions. I wouldn’t try to speculate on what’s going to happen next week."

"Right now they’re just dealing with the renewals," she said of the commission.

District officials confirmed that requests to expand charters would not be considered next week.

Making the case for both renewing and expanding their charters in testimony before the SRC Wednesday were speakers from the the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School and Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School.

SRC members must grapple with the budgetary impact of increasing charter enrollments amidst uncertainty about one of the key premises of next year's District budget - a projected $90 million increase in the state's basic education subsidy that is supported by the governor and the state house but not the state senate.

The June 16 meeting is the last scheduled SRC meeting till August.

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Paul is the Notebook's former editor and publisher and also one of its founders in 1994.

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