Dozens March to Legislature in Support of Charter Schools

Posted May 2, 2007 7:03 p.m. EDT

— Students and parents from Hope Elementary School marched Wednesday to the state Legislature to raise awareness of issues involving charter schools.

Supporters want lawmakers to lift the cap on charter schools so they can establish more schools across the state. They said it is a matter of choice that also eases overcrowding issues, but some education leaders said charter schools take much-needed public money.

"For every school a charter school builds, it means the taxpayers don't have to pay for one for the traditional school system," said Philip Adkins, of the N.C. Charter School League.

"If it were lifted to say double digit what it is now or anything of a significant amount, I think we would possibly see it having impact on the amount of dollars that are coming out of the traditional public schools," said Sherri Strickland, of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Groups must receive state approval to start a charter school. Right now, the cap stands at 100 statewide. Efforts to lift it have failed in the past.