It’s here! We are one step closer to having more educational freedom in North Carolina. State Senator Richard Stevens from Wake county introduced a bill this week to remove the cap on charter schools in North Carolina.
What is a Charter School?
Charter schools provide parents a choice in the education of their children — and it is a public choice. Public tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools. Local, state, and federal dollars follow the child to a charter school. The schools have open enrollment with no discrimination, no religious associations, and no tuition.
How much does it cost to attend a Charter School?
Charter Schools are tuition free. They are public schools and funding for the schools come from federal, state, and local taxes.
What are the requirements for acceptance into a charter school?
The only requirement to get into a charter school is the availability at the school in the requested grade. (from the Office of Charter Schools)
Currently, we have one hundred charter schools, mandated by current law. I, personally asked my Representatives locally why there was a cap, and the answer was that Democrats in control of the general assembly were not willing to co sponsor the legislation needed to lift the cap. With 100 counties in North Carolina, that would break down to one per county, but that is not true. Forsyth County has approximately five, Mecklenburg County has at least five, Wake County has at least ten- so minimally these three counties alone have over 17 additional schools, taking away from other counties. (Why would Democrats want to deter educational success?) Lifting the cap gives North Carolina the opportunity to have charter schools in all counties.
Eddie Goodall, president of N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools, agreed that there should be more accountability, and he added that it should be measured by improvement in school performance in a given year.
“The cap is one of the main problems for our state, but there are many more things we want to do. We want an independent charter school commission to oversee charter schools to make sure we have effective and quality charter schools,” he said.
“The only kind of cap there should be is a quality cap.” *
Read the bill for yourself. I believe this is a good start for our new general assembly. Ideally, I would also like to see tax credits or a well written voucher program- what are your thoughts?
Be sure to send Senator Stevens an email- Richard.Stevens@ncleg.net thanking him for introducing this bill!
The Co Sponsors are:
Austin M. Allran (Catawba, Iredell);
Tom Apodaca (Buncombe, Henderson, Polk);
Stan Bingham (Davidson, Guilford);
Peter S. Brunstetter (Forsyth);
Thom Goolsby (New Hanover);
Malcolm Graham (Mecklenburg); <– the one democrat!
Rick Gunn (Alamance, Caswell);
Ralph Hise (Avery, Haywood, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Yancey);
Neal Hunt (Wake);
Wesley Meredith (Bladen, Cumberland);
E. S. (Buck) Newton (Nash, Wilson);
Louis Pate (Greene, Pitt, Wayne);
David Rouzer (Johnston, Wayne);
Dan Soucek (Alexander, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes);
Jerry W. Tillman (Montgomery, Randolph);
Tommy Tucker (Mecklenburg, Union)