N.M. Senate approves online charter school moratorium

      SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico would impose a temporary moratorium on new fully online charter schools under a proposal approved by the Senate.

      The measure by Republican Sen. Gay Kernan of Hobbs calls for a one-year moratorium to allow a study of virtual charter schools to assess their effects on students and public schools.

      A statewide online charter school opened last year and was authorized by the Farmington school district. Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera recently approved a new online charter school, which is to open in the fall.

      Critics object to the online schools contracting with out-of-state, for-profit companies for their classes, and Democratic legislators have asked Attorney General Gary King to investigate the arrangements.

      The Senate approved the legislation on a 32-7 vote on Wednesday, sending it to the House.

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