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State approves 5 new charter schools, expansions for 8 existing ones

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved charters for five new charter schools and expansions to eight existing schools, officials announced Tuesday.

The board granted charters Tuesday to: Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School, set to open in Springfield in 2014 and enroll 250 students in grades 9-12; and the Pioneer Charter School of Science II, set to open this fall in Saugus and enroll 360 students in grades 7-12.

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Those schools join the City on a Hill Charter Public School, scheduled to open this year in New Bedford and enroll 280 students in grades 9-12; its sister school, the City on a Hill Charter Public School II, which is scheduled to open in Boston and will enroll the same number of students; and the UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester, scheduled to open this year and enroll 750 students in grades K1-8.

The board turned down 17 other applications.

“These new charters will bring high quality alternatives to low-performing districts across the state,” Marc Kenen, executive director of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, said in a statement.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ToddFeathers.
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