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By The Associated Press

ACKSON – More than two dozen applicants say they’re interested in setting up the first charter schools in Mississippi.

Tommie Cardin, the chairman of the Charter School Authorizer Board, said he’d received 26 letters of intent by 3 p.m. Wednesday, two hours before the deadline.

Eight groups say they want to open a school in the city of Jackson, but interest spans 15 districts from Moss Point to Marshall County.

Not all groups who submit letters by Wednesday’s deadline will necessarily follow through with an application. Erika Berry of the Mississippi Charter Schools Association says one-third or fewer of interested groups now run charter schools in other states.

Applications are due March 14, with the board scheduled to vote on approvals in June. The board can only approve 15 schools per year.

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