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Candidates criticize charter school decision

October 14, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley are finding common ground on the issue of charter schools.

Coakley, a Democrat, and Baker, a Republican, both called on the state Board of Education Tuesday to reverse a ruling that all but eliminated Commonwealth charter school applicants in Brockton and Fitchburg.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said the board found the applications could not go forward because of a state law requiring that the first two charters awarded in any given year go to school districts with average MCAS scores in the lowest 10 percent of the state.

It would be the first time in 15 years the state has not awarded a Commonwealth charter.

Charter schools are public schools which operate independently from local school districts.

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