Plan Re-Emerges for For-Profit Charter Takeover of NC Public Schools
Near the end of the last session, we heard about an extreme plan to allow for-profit charters to seize control of some traditional public schools. Now, that plan as come back and threatens to further undermine the quality of our traditional public schools.
The proposed bill would create a statewide school district, called the Achievement School District. Under the plan, the State Board of Education would hire a superintendent and select up to five struggling elementary schools to be part of the new district as early as the 2017-18 school year. Only those schools deemed continually low-performing would be considered. About 130 schools in the state currently have that designation.
Once the schools are chosen, their local school boards would have three options – close the school, turn it over to the Achievement School District or ask to adopt a principal turnaround reform model, which would replace the principal with a new one. Schools turned over to the Achievement School District would be put under new management, selected by the state school board.
N.C. Policy Watch, run by the liberal-leaning North Carolina Justice Center, which has been critical of the expansion of charter schools, has written extensively about the proposed bill. It reported that lobbying was financed by Oregon millionaire and conservative private school backer John Bryan, who isn't related to the North Carolina lawmaker.