As many as 70 new charter schools could open in North Carolina next year, according to the state education department.
State officials say the 70 proposed schools represent the largest collection of applicants since the state’s first charter school opened in 1997. Officials will review the applicants before recommending to the board of education which ones should get preliminary approval to open for the 2014-15 school year.
In January, more than 150 applicants submitted letters of intent to open in 2014. Fewer than half met the March 1 application deadline.
The latest group of applicants represents the continued expansion of charter schools as alternatives to regular public schools. The legislature scrapped a 100-school cap on charters in 2011.
Currently, 107 charter schools serve nearly 50,000 students.
A version of this article appeared in the March 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as Charter Applications Set Record High in N.C.