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House offers new plan to expand Mass. charter schools after committee rejects compromise

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BOSTON — House lawmakers are offering a new proposal that would allow for the expansion of charter schools in struggling urban school districts.

The bill was introduced on Wednesday, one day after the Legislature's Education Committee, made up of House and Senate members, failed to reach agreement before a deadline for acting on previously-filed legislation.

The House proposal would gradually raise the cap on charter school spending in Boston and 28 other low-performing school districts from 18 percent to 23 percent.

The measure would also create a new category of "challenge schools" that would be subject to two-year turnaround plans.

The bill would not tie charter school expansion to state reimbursements to school districts, as Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, the Senate chairman of the education panel, had proposed before Tuesday's deadline.

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