Can school districts truly affect which charter schools are approved? | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Can school districts truly affect which charter schools are approved?

Posted by on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Most public school officials won't be shy if you ask them how a charter school impacts their local budgets. For every student who is eligible to enroll in a traditional public school but chooses to attend a charter, the student's home school system must send the charter a chunk of money. In short, the money follows the student through the public system.

At a meeting of the State Board of Education (SBE) this morning in Raleigh, one state official likened the payments to alimony—painful in many cases, but necessary by law. In a district such as Durham County, with eight charter schools, the pass-through money totals more than $10 million a year, according to a recent statement from Durham Superintendent Eric Becoats. Durham has the highest market share of charter schools in the state, Becoats wrote. (PDF)

But will that stop the SBE from approving any more charters in Durham? It's hard to say.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the SBE is scheduled to consider nine applications for new charter schools to open this fall. Board members will merely discuss this week, and take a final vote in the beginning of March.

The board reviewed impact statements that school districts provided on the nine pending applications, said Joel Medley, director of the state's Office of Charter Schools. But moving forward, board members agreed, they need more specific policies on what data the impact statements should include, and how the impact statements would figure into their decisions.

Reports from local school districts are varied and inconsistent—if the districts even send one—that there's really no standard for the weight they should carry as SBE members consider a charter application. The board discussed identifying specific questions that school districts should answer. Chairman Bill Harrison said the board needs to discuss how the board should weigh the impact on traditional public schools without creating inroads or barriers for either side.

Say, for instance, a school district gets to a point where half its students are enrolled in a charter school, Harrison said. "Is that [school district] going to provide an efficient education for the children who are remaining? It could be debatable, but probably not," he said. But, the state also can't definitively say that once a school district loses half its students, the charter can't expand any more, he said.

"I think we need to frame this conversation," Harrison said. "It's an important time in the history of public education in North Carolina ... and it’s my preference and my desire that we strengthen the opportunities for all kids."

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction is expecting to receive 50 to 70 more applications for new or expanded charter schools in April, Medley said. Expecting the slew, the SBE needs to work quickly on setting some more specific parameters, board members agreed.

"We don't know where this is going, but we do know this is time sensitive," said board member Wayne McDevitt, of Marshall.

Look for this topic to come up again when the state board begins its monthly meeting Wednesday at 10 a.m. and stretches to Thursday. Look for coverage on Staff Writer Bob Geary's blog, Citizen.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Most Recent Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I truly admire the passion and support the message. But it seems standing on an overpass during rush hour traffic …

by Diane Alenezi on High Above I-40, Protesters Call for "Health Care 4 All" (News)

This will turn the Mordecai neighborhood & surrounding neighborhoods (one of the only places in downtown Raleigh with any character …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Oh Leanne, don't you know the GA laid them all off? And that people always crap on their own public …

by biIIy on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation