charter schools

The North Carolina Board of Education gave the go ahead Thursday to twelve charter schools to open in the fall of 2016. In an unusual move, board members also turned down two schools. 

Lisa Worf / WFAE

The Director of North Carolina’s Office of Charter Schools took a new job this week. He is now the head of an online charter school that won approval from the state board of education this year. 

It made us wonder what policies the state has to ensure public employees aren’t applying for jobs with the same groups they may be vetting or negotiating contracts with. There aren’t many. 

WFAE

It was a surreal news week for WFAE's Tom Bullock. At NPR, Tom was Baghdad bureau chief and covered General David Patraeus during his rise to prominence. On Thursday, Tom covered Patraeus in a federal courtroom in Charlotte as he admitted to violating the Espionage Act. He talks about it in this episode of WFAE Talks. Plus, education reporter Lisa Worf discusses the Charter School Advisory Board's decision to recommend approval of several for-profit charter schools. Last year, some lawmakers made it clear they were unhappy the board only approved one for-profit charter school.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

Another 18 charter schools may open in North Carolina soon.  Half of them are planned for Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. They’re the recommendations of the charter advisory board.

The list includes nine schools run by for-profit companies The advisory board took some heat from lawmakers last year for only recommending 11 schools overall.

Flickr/Seth Sawyers / http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/4267034867/sizes/l/

The abrupt closing of three charter schools in Charlotte over the past year has made a lot of people wonder what went wrong. In 2013, another charter school in eastern North Carolina closed because of financial troubles.  A state auditor’s report released this week provided an answer in that case. The audit finds fiscal mismanagement and questionable payments were part of its demise. 


Entrepreneur High School's website

Another Charlotte area charter school has abruptly shut down. Entrepreneur High School, which focused on vocational training, closed down Friday after just 5 months in operation. 

The viability of Entrepreneur High was in question even before the first student walked through the door. The school received the lowest possible rating on a ‘ready to open’ report from the North Carolina Office of Charter Schools.   

Still, Entrepreneur was given the green light to open. And now it is closed.

A Charlotte charter school has removed its founder and principal as the school struggles with low enrollment and significant financial shortfalls.

The board at Entrepreneur High School removed Hans Plotseneder as the school’s leader on Christmas Eve, according to documents from the state Department of Public Instruction.

Entrepreneur High opened in August and has been on probation with the state charter school office since September.

3 more area charters seek approval

Dec 28, 2014

More charter schools are in the planning stages in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reports the state received 11 more applications for charters next year, including three in the Charlotte area.   The expected growth comes as the latest crop of new schools falls short of enrollment projections. The newspaper reports that two Charlotte area charters have closed over the past two years in their first years,  because of low enrollment and other troubles.

Tasnim Shamma / WFAE

New charter schools in the Charlotte area only received two-thirds of the students they expected this year. 

Nine charter schools opened this year in the Charlotte area.  Concrete Roses STEM Academy closed after the first month.  The remaining schools expected to receive about 2,400 students, but according to the state department of public instruction only 1,643 enrolled. 

There’s a profit to be made off charter schools: charter school boards can hire for-profit companies to manage schools. Many charters in North Carolina are run this way. But should the owner of a for-profit company also have a seat on the charter school board that selects the company? That was long the case with Baker Mitchell. He owns a management company that runs four charter schools in the eastern part of the state. ProPublica’s Marian Wang took a look at Mitchell and his company Roger Bacon Academy. She joins Morning Edition host Marshall Terry to discuss.


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