7 charter schools seek OK to open in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Seven charter schools are seeking permission to open in West Virginia, the chairman of a new state school board said.

Charter school board chairman Adam Kissel said they include three statewide online schools that would serve kindergarten through 12th grades, and four brick-and-mortar charter schools, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Legislation approved earlier this year created the new state-level charter board, whose members were appointed by Republican Gov. Jim Justice and now await Senate confirmation. The board has 90 days to rule on the applications. If the board doesn’t act, the schools would automatically be approved to open as soon as next fall.

State law allows for two virtual statewide charter schools. Two applying for the openings are already education providers in other states and run by publicly traded companies. The third would be part of a private international company.

The board can approve a brick-and-mortar charter to open in a county even if it is opposed by a local school board. Two are proposed for the Eastern Panhandle and others are proposed in the Cheat Lake community near Morgantown and in Nitro along the Kanawha-Putnam county border, the newspaper said.

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