Two more groups win approval to sponsor Minn. charter schools

Two more groups have won state approval to sponsor charter schools in Minnesota.

Authorizers don't actually run charters but a new law requires them to be more involved in the fiscal and academic oversight of the schools they sponsor. It also requires every current authorizer to re-apply to maintain their status.

The two newly-approved groups are the Northfield School District and Audubon Center of the North Woods. Northfield currently sponsors two charter schools, while Audubon is the state's largest authorizer with 23.

With these latest approvals, there are now 11 organizations with permission to sponsor charter schools starting this summer. That's well below the 45 organizations that currently have that authority, but state officials expect more to win approval in coming months.

Authorizers who have won approval from the Minnesota Department of Education, along with the number of charter schools each currently sponsors:

Anoka Technical College (0)

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Audubon Center of the North Woods (23)

Friends of Education - Minnesota (16)

Innovative Quality Schools (0)

Minneapolis Public Schools (2)

Northfield Public Schools (2)

Novation Education Opportunities (3)

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (1)

Pillsbury United Communities (13)

Student Achivement Minnesota (0)

Volunteers of America - Minnesota (15)