- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts House has approved a bill that would allow for the expansion of charter schools in Boston and several other communities, and require more struggling public schools to adopt turnaround plans.

The measure, which passed Wednesday on a 114-35 vote despite opposition from some Democrats, faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

The bill calls for gradually raising the existing cap on charter school spending in underperforming school districts - including Boston, Fall River and Holyoke - from 15 percent to 23 percent by the year 2022.

Critics of charter schools say they drain financial resources from traditional public schools.

The legislation would also allow schools that are in danger of falling into underperforming status to be designated as “challenge schools,” prompting implementation of two-year turnaround plans.

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