National News

Baltimore Sun, August 24, 2008,0,6912384.story

Maryland Begins to Embrace Public Charter Schools

Despite a slow start for public charter schools in Maryland, except for the city of Baltimore, local districts in the state are starting to embrace them. "I think [the law] was not universally applauded. So I think school systems have not, with the exception of Baltimore City, been particularly proponents," said state school Superintendent Nancy Grasmick. But now, she said, districts have generally approved new public charters when the applications were sound. Baltimore County's first public charter school expects to open this week, and public charters already operate in Harford, Frederick, St. Mary's and Anne Arundel counties. The newest additions will bring the statewide total to 34 schools and nearly 8,000 students. Public charter schools recently received a large financial boost from the Maryland Court of Appeals. It ruled that school districts should provide public charters with 98 percent of the amount spent on a student in that district. Previously, public charters had to negotiate the per-pupil amount they would receive from a district.

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