Local News

Charter Schools Won't Benefit From N.C. Lottery

Posted October 17, 2005 9:32 a.m. EDT

— North Carolina's education lottery was touted as a win for education, but not all public schools will benefit.

The state's 99 charter schools will not receive any of the proceeds earmarked for school construction programs because, by law, they are supposed to fund their own capital projects.

"I was shocked to learn that we wouldn't be benefiting from this the way other public schools would," said Principal Tom Humble, of Raleigh Charter High School. "Charter school students are public school students, just like students in any Wake County school or Durham County school, and they should be getting the same benefits."

Even some lawmakers who supported the lottery bill said they did not realize charter schools would not get any of the proceeds.

State House Rep. Winkie Wilkins, D-Person County, said he was considering introducing a new bill to change the lottery law to add charter schools to the more than 2,200 school systems in the state.

"There will be some tweaking, I do believe," Wilkins said. "And this may be a worthwhile addition."

Two years ago, charter schools sued for the right to receive money from fines and forfeitures, like other public schools, and won. Charter school leaders have not said whether they will sue in this case.