By Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Public Education Commission plans hearings next week on seven proposed charter schools in five communities.

The commission meets Aug. 18 in Navajo, Aug. 19 in Albuquerque on two school applications, Aug. 20 in Albuquerque, Isleta Pueblo and Rio Rancho to consider three school proposals and Aug. 21 in Columbus.

The commission will hear comments from those seeking to start the schools, the public and from local school district representatives.

The commission is to vote on whether to approve the schools Sept. 25-26 in Santa Fe.

The school applications can be viewed at the Public Education Department’s web site ( ).

Charter schools are public schools that operate independently from a school district to help them offer innovative programs. Local school boards or the state can approve charters.

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