by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
According to The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a charter school desert is “three or more contiguous census tracts that have poverty rates greater than 20 percent but that have no charter schools.” And a new Fordham Institute report says that North Carolina has 14 of them.
Nine charter deserts are in urban counties. Of those nine, five are in Mecklenburg County. Durham and Wake counties have two each. Five charter deserts are in rural areas, four of which are along the I-95 corridor and the Sandhills.