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State approves four more groups to sponsor charter schools

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The state education department has approved four more groups to sponsor charter schools in Minnesota.

Authorizers don't actually run charters but a new law requires that they're more involved in the fiscal and academic oversight of the schools they sponsor.  

The law also requires that every authorizing organization re-apply this time around. 

The four newly-approved charter authorizing groups are the Chisago Lakes School District, Concordia University of St. Paul, Fraser Community Services, and the University of St. Thomas.  

Those four groups currently sponsor 10 charter schools between them.

With these latest approvals, there are now 15 organizations with permission to sponsor charter schools starting this summer.  A majority of Minnesota's 149 charter schools now know their authorizers have been approved for next year.

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)
Audubon Center of the North Woods (23)
Chisago Lakes Public Schools (1)
Concordia University, St. Paul (6)
Fraser (1)
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)
University of St. Thomas (2)
Volunteers of America - Minnesota (15)
Total:  15 authorizers, sponsoring 85 schools