Earlier today, North Carolina’s Board of Education cleared the way to open 25 new charter schools by August of next year. WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports while about 30-thousand children are on wait lists, the number of newly-approved charter schools is the biggest increase since the cap was lifted in 2010.
By next fall, North Carolina will have 132 public charter schools operating in more than half its counties.
Darrell Allison is President of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina -- a non-profit group working to increase school choice options. He says charter schools can offer flexibility beyond the reach of traditional public schools.
“If we know that in a particular community where a public charter school has been granted -- where math scores, for example, are low – are drastically lower than the state average – to be able to have a public charter school that focuses on math and science, if you will, we see that as a positive.”
Allison says because charter schools are not tied to a broad bussing system they offer extended classroom hours to kids who are farther behind academically or otherwise at risk.
He’s quick to add that charter schools shouldn’t be pitted against traditional public schools as better choices – but rather – as another option for parents.
Two of the new schools are in New Hanover County. Bladen County is getting its first charter school.
For more information on charter schools: