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Expansion of New Charter Schools Hits Wall in Massachusetts

For the first time in 15 years, Massachusetts education officials probably will not be approving any new independently run charter schools this year, a prospect that is stunning proponents and applicants.

Two new charter schools, in Brockton and Fitchburg, nearly got the green light, but were halted last week after officials discovered that the proposals had advanced through the state’s approval process because of a procedural error by the state Department of Education.

Proponents say the move represents another blow in their quest to open more charter schools across the state. It comes just three months after the state Senate overwhelmingly rejected an increase in the number of charter schools that can operate in low-performing districts.