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Missouri House advances charter school proposal

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that could expand access for charter schools in the state.

In an 83-74 vote Wednesday, the House approved a bill that would allow charters to expand without district approval to more heavily-populated areas such as Springfield or Columbia.

Opponents decried the proposal, saying it doesn’t offer enough accountability for charter schools that have a mixed bag of success scores in urban districts where they are currently allowed to operate.

House Speaker Todd Richardson and other supporters say the bill would bring more accountability because it allows the Department of Education to refuse to renew a charter if it doesn’t meet certain standards. It also won’t allow more charters to open if the Legislature doesn’t fully fund the state school formula.