Cap the number of Charter schools
Sign the petition calling for a cap on the number of Charter Schools in NC
This cap was lifted in 2011 and then in 2013 the requirement for racial and ethnic diversity in Charter schools was dropped as well. For more information see below and this link: https://www.publicschoolsfirstnc.org/resources/fact-sheets/quick-facts-on-charter-schools/
What are the concerns about Charter Schools?
- Impact on local public school districts: Reducing funds from public schools often forces them to reduce staff, programs, and other basic expenditures. The state’s budget for charter schools has grown from just over $16 million in 1997 to more than $580 million for the 2017-2018 school year, and most of that money would have gone to school districts for traditional public schools.
- Diversion of money away from traditional public schools: A December 2017 study found that charter schools generate negative fiscal effects on public school districts by reducing spending capacity, number of students and budget flexibility.
- Oversight: The Office of Charter Schools lacks adequate staff and a sufficiently rigorous process for evaluating applications and tracking charter success.
- Student outcomes: For the 2016-2017 school year, District schools had a lower percent of schools with D and F grades (22.5%) than charter schools (25.2%).
- Racial isolation: A 2017 study by UCLA, demonstrated charter schools are more segregated than traditional public schools and the share of minority charter students has declined over time. In addition, the burgeoning numbers of charters drive increasing amounts of segregation in traditional public schools, as middle class, mostly white students leave their district schools. NC charters also serve lower proportions of low-income students than traditional public schools. A little more than half the students come from low-income families at traditional public schools. In charters, however, only one in three students are low-income. Original legislation required racial and ethnic diversity in charter schools, but a 2013 law dropped the mandate. Charter schools are required only to “make efforts” to “reasonably reflect the racial and ethnic composition” in the area where the school is located but there is no mechanism for doing so and no consequence for failing to achieve a resemblance to the LEA.
- Public assets can become private assets: A failing charter can be taken over by a new entity, instead of being closed. The school’s assets would then be transferred to the new operator, not back to the state..
For these reasons, many education experts advocate that the state only allow a limited number of truly innovative, not-for-profit charter schools designed to work with local school districts and be managed with careful local and state oversight. There is growing call for giving traditional schools the same privileges and flexibilities as the charter schools to enhance choice and program offerings to accommodate academic needs of our children. This would allow innovative, creative and flexible learning opportunities along with the transparency, accountability and stability that parents, teachers, students and taxpayers desire while keeping one public systems of schools in NC.