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Contact: Keith Hovis (651) 582-8275 or Charlene Briner (651) 582-1145

Two More Charter School Authorizers Approved by Minnesota Department of Education

Twenty-eight charter school authorizers now meet the nationally recognized rigorous state law that brings increased oversight to charter schools

(Roseville, MN) – Twenty-eight charter school authorizers have now been approved by the Minnesota Department of Education, including two new authorizers approved by Commissioner Brenda Cassellius on January 19, 2012.

The newest approved charter schools authorizers are:

· Germanic-American Institute
· St. Catherine University

“Minnesota’s charter school law is a national model for excellence, with the goal of ensuring a high-quality education for every student enrolled in one of the state’s public charter schools,” said Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “All of our authorizers - including our two newest – must meet nationally recognized standards of quality and accountability, and agree to hold the charter schools they authorize accountable to the high-quality expectations they specify in their charter contracts.”

Minnesota’s improved charter law is designed to increase charter school quality, performance and accountability by shifting MDE’s focus from approving individual charter schools to approving charter school authorizers. Those changes put in place more robust oversight responsibilities for authorizers, requiring them to take on a greater oversight role for the charter schools they authorize. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools continues to count Minnesota as a leader regarding charter school laws, recently ranking the state as having the second best charter school law in the nation to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

Previously approved authorizers are:

· Anoka Technical College

· Audubon Center of the North Woods

· Augsburg College

· Bethel University

· Chisago Lakes Public Schools

· Concordia University of St. Paul

· Fraser

· Friends of Education

· Innovative Quality Schools

· Intermediate School District 917

· Minneapolis Public Schools

· Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools

· Northfield Public Schools

· Novation Education Opportunities

· Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

· Pillsbury United Communities

· Project for Pride in Living

· Rochester Community and Technical College

· Rushford-Peterson Independent School District

· Student Achievement Minnesota

· University of Minnesota – Duluth

· University of St. Thomas

· Volunteers of America – Minnesota

· Winona Area Public Schools

· Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

· YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis

For more information on charter schools or the Minnesota Department of Education, visit