NC budget frees up approval process for new charter schools | Eastern North Carolina Now

A back-and-forth power struggle between state lawmakers and members of the North Carolina Board of Education came to a head in the new budget—and, at least for now, lawmakers won.

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is David Bass.

    A back-and-forth power struggle between state lawmakers and members of the North Carolina Board of Education came to a head in the new budget-and, at least for now, lawmakers won.

    Here's what happened. Earlier this year, the General Assembly OK'ed a measure creating a new Charter School Review Board responsible for evaluating and approving new charters. With the previous system, the full State Board of Education had the final say, under recommendations from the Charter Schools Advisory Board.

    Republican lawmakers believed the shift was important because the Democrat-controlled State Board of Education has rejected several charter school applications in recent years.

    Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed the bill on July 7, claiming the measure was "a legislative power grab that turns that responsibility over to a commission of political friends and extremists appointed by Republican legislators, making it more likely that faulty or failing charter schools will be allowed to operate and shortchange their students."


    Later, Republican lawmakers overrode the veto with the help of two Democrats in the House. But that wasn't the end of the skirmish.

    In an end run around the new law, the Democrat-controlled State Board of Education passed a policy Sept. 7 that allows the board to control funding for new charters. The policy passed 8-3, with all Democrat appointees voting in favor plus one Republican appointee, chairman Eric Davis. Three Republicans voted against - Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, State Treasurer Dale Folwell, and board member Olivia Oxendine, who is a GOP appointee.

    "To do this in one day is unfair," said Robinson during the meeting Sept. 6. "It's unprofessional, and it smacks of political pandering and should not be tolerated on an issue this important."

    Davis said the move was needed because seven charter schools have closed in recent years. "At least five of them with questionable financial situations, which are currently being reviewed by federal officials," Davis said.

    Lawmakers appear to have gotten the last laugh, however. The new budget prohibits the State Board of Education from withholding funds from a charter authorized by the new Charter School Review Board, except under limited circumstances. Those circumstances are:

  • "The change in funding is due to an annual adjustment based on enrollment or is a general adjustment to allocations that is not specific to the charter or actions of that charter school."
  • "The Review Board notifies the State Board that the charter school has materially violated a term of its charter, has violated a State statute or federal law, or has had its charter terminated or nonrenewed."
  • "The Superintendent of Public Instruction notifies the State Board that the charter school has failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management or has violated a State or federal requirement for receipt of funds."

    Lindalyn Kakadelis, executive director of the NC Coalition for Charter Schools, issued a statement praising the budget provision.


    "The waitlist for public charter schools has 77,000 student names on it, and threats to withhold funding for new charter schools would have made that problem worse, not better," Kakadelis said. "Ultimately, students and families are the ones who lose out most when policymakers put politics and power over funding all of our public schools fairly."

    A recent national report concluded that charters outperform their traditional public school counterparts in reading and math, with gains particularly accruing to minority students, students in poverty, and students learning English as a second language.

As School Choice is beginning to take shape in North Carolina: What is your position on what it should evolve into?
  School Choice is only a distraction from the promise of real public education.
  School Choice, as it evolves into its best model to serve the public' s education needs, this benefit will provide choices outside of the historic construct supporting the public school monopoly.
  School Choice - I cannot see how it serves the Education Industry.
212 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

Go Back


Latest State and Federal

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy told The Daily Wire on Monday that he would “strongly consider” replacing J.D. Vance as U.S. senator from Ohio now that former President Donald Trump has picked Vance to be his running mate for the 2024 election.
For the second year in a row, Raleigh was ranked as the overall best place for veterans to live in the United States, according to a WalletHub report. Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem came in 26th, 35th, 48th, and 51st overall, respectively.
Less than 24 hours after a failed assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump — which left one bystander dead and three others, including Trump, injured — The Atlantic’s David Frum blamed the violence on the former president and his supporters.
The Biden campaign fired back at actor George Clooney on Wednesday after Clooney called for President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race, suggesting that the 81-year-old president has better stamina than Clooney.
Ray Epps, the man accused by many of being involved with federal law enforcement during the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, said over the weekend that Fox News host Tucker Carlson was “obsessed” with him and trying to ruin his life.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is hosting a virtual meeting on Friday, March 1, 2024, for the Standardized Foster Care Trauma-Informed Assessment Workgroup.
Cotton has been mentioned as a possible running mate for former President Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump said during a radio hit on Friday that he would be willing to take a cognitive test alongside President Joe Biden to let voters see the mental state of each presidential candidate.


Back to Top