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Senate passes bill to lift cap on charter schools

Posted February 24, 2011

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— The state Senate gave final approval Thursday to big changes to North Carolina’s charter school system.

Senate Bill 8 would remove the cap on the number of charters that can operate in the state. That limit is currently set at 100. It would also allow counties to use public money and lottery funds to help pay for charter school construction.

The measure would also set up a new commission to approve, oversee and revoke charter school licenses. The commission would function independently of the State Board of Education, though the Board could overturn its decisions by a three-fourths vote.

The Senate approved the bill by a 33-17 vote. The measure next goes to the state House of Representatives.

Republican supporters said the changes would offer more options to more students who aren’t being served well in existing schools, and bill sponsor Senator Richard Stevens, R-Wake, said Wednesday that the funding changes will give charters a chance at a more equitable share of education spending than they currently get.

Senate Democrats, however, said the bill doesn’t do enough to make sure the new charters are equally accessible to all students. They argued the schools should be required to offer the same busing and subsidized food programs as traditional schools.

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  • ohterry Mar 2, 2011

    I get public school graduates from "Honors English" in my college developmental classes every semester who aren't quite sure what a noun is. I've never had a private, charter, or home-schooled student place into developmental classes.

  • blackdog Feb 24, 2011

    Next, the vouchers and tax credits... For Schools Incorporated. A very profitable proposition.

  • blackdog Feb 24, 2011

    Schools Incorporated....

  • Plenty Coups Feb 24, 2011

    "Assuming you have walked into a public school classroom in the past all it would take is for you to walk into a private school classroom. The evidence will be right there before your eyes."

    Still waiting on actual evidence rather than this kind of vague insinuation. My child goes to a public school that Businessweek magazine rates as the 10th best school in the country based on the cost of nearby housing. That's actual evidence.

  • hp277 Feb 24, 2011

    "Sounds like these Senate Dems want the new charter schools to be bound by the same ridiculous practices that help make the rest of the public schools what they are."
    GetRight

    Without buses and lunch programs, the poor (and likely furthest behind) cannot access charters.

    All this is doing is creating a 2 class system - upper class (charter) schools and public schools for the poor.

  • ncouterbanks69 Feb 24, 2011

    "I'm still waiting for actual evidence that private schools are so much better than public schools other than anecdotal evidence."

    Assuming you have walked into a public school classroom in the past all it would take is for you to walk into a private school classroom. The evidence will be right there before your eyes.

  • Plenty Coups Feb 24, 2011

    "I read your article and couldn't stop laughing over how gullible one has to be to accept it. First, it was written by public school teacher advokates. "

    It has held up to peer review. I'm sorry the results don't agree with your ideology but you fail to accurately show how it was a flawed study.

  • Plenty Coups Feb 24, 2011

    "They pump money in from other states to get NC politicianms elected."

    So do conservatives. Just one man, Art Pope, far exceeds that amount in his funding of conservative candidtaes and their advocacy groups such as Civitas and the John Locke Foundation.

  • Plenty Coups Feb 24, 2011

    "In no way could someone say that public schools are as good as private schools...."

    I'm still waiting for actual evidence that private schools are so much better than public schools other than anecdotal evidence.

  • ew2152 Feb 24, 2011

    Plenty Coups
    ,

    That's my point. They pump money in from other states to get NC politicianms elected. That puts the politicians in a position of either siding with the teachers unions OR siding the kids of NC.

    They certainly have a constitutional right to express their self benefiting views, but as voters in NC we should be aware of who the politicians cater to, and up til this point it hasn't been us!

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