by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
Last week, Carolina Journal’s Lindsay Marchello published a story on a dozen recent charter school applications. According to Marchello, 12 charter schools applied for approval to open in 2020; however, Marchello writes:
[T]he State Board of Education failed to approve two of them after local district officials and PTA members raised concerns.
Board members voted to approve the 10 charter schools during an SBE meeting Thursday, June 6, and sent the two failed requests — Wake Preparatory Academy and North Raleigh Charter Academy — back to the Charter School Advisory Board for further consideration.
The rejection of these two applications came after local district officials and PTA members spoke out against the new charter schools. Marchello quotes one PTA member as stating:
“[M]any out our PTA units are fighting the proliferation of more charter schools in the area, many by a for-profit company,” Susan Brooks, Wake County PTA Council member wrote in a May letter. “Charters have no set boundaries, so more charters in the county will affect the entire county. We need to hit the pause button.”
According to Terry Stoops, vice president of research and director of education studies at JLF, this response is not surprising:
“Rather than compete for students based on the merits of their schools, the district would rather try to impede the expansion of their competition,” Stoops said. “That is precisely how one would expect a declining monopoly to behave.”
This may not be the end for these charter schools, however, according to Marchello:
The [Charter School Advisory Board] will review the concerns June 10. If the advisory board approves the schools, the applications will once again be sent to the State Board of Education for another vote.
Read the full story here.
More on the Issue:
Charter schools are surrounded by many misconceptions. First, they are public schools, not private schools. For many parents, these schools present their only chance to move their children out of an underperforming school and into a program that works for their child. Increasingly, charter schools have had to turn away more and more students due to the high volume of applications they receive. Before 2011, North Carolina had a 100-school cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state. Now that this cap has been lifted, the number of charter schools is on the rise, but there is still more demand than supply.
Read more about how charter schools can benefit North Carolina here.