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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A committee created by Arkansas lawmakers earlier this year to review charter school applications is convening for its first meeting.

The Charter Authorizing Panel is scheduled to hold its first meeting Wednesday at the state Department of Education in Little Rock. The panel was created under a bill signed into law earlier this year that changes the way Arkansas approves charter schools.

The new law requires the state education commissioner to appoint a panel of his staff to review and approve charter school applications. The Board of Education has the power to review that panel's decisions.

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