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Minnesota bill would hold charter schools accountable

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- New legislation could give officials a tool to shut down charter schools that are chronically underperforming.

If the bill becomes law, 17 of the state's 157 charter schools would be flagged for closure. Charters with a high number English language learners or special education students would be exempt.

Myron Orfield is director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. He says overall, charter school students don't do as well academically as students in traditional schools. He says about 25 or 30 percent of charter schools are terrible, and Minnesota law doesn't have a way to deal with them.

Brian Sweeney, director of external affairs for Charter School Partners, says bad charter schools hurt the entire movement and should be closed when necessary.

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