RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Six academically low-performing elementary schools in four local districts are still being considered to participate in a new North Carolina program where outside school operators are hired to run them.

An arm of the state public school system announced Friday an original list of 48 qualifying schools has been whittled down based on review of other data. The schools that remain come from the Durham, Northampton and Robeson county schools and the Nash-Rocky Mount district.

Officials within the North Carolina Innovative School District will now visit the schools and analyze their needs.

The Innovative School District's superintendent will recommend at least two schools to the State Board of Education in November. Charter school operators or other organizations would lead the chosen schools.