SEATTLE -

Four groups have submitted proposals to open charter schools in Washington state, in the second round of a new process to bring these independent public schools to the state.

The number of proposals is smaller than last year's group of 19 applications to the statewide Charter School Commission.

In January, the commission voted to approve the first seven applications for charter schools. Another school was approved through a separate process in Spokane.

Washington's first charter school is scheduled to open this fall in Seattle. A private school called First Place is reopening as a charter school in Seattle. The seven other approved charters are planning to open in fall 2015.

Tuesday was the deadline for the second round of applications.