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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A records request uncovers that Baker Mitchell, founder of Roger Bacon Academy (RBA) in Leland, is making millions of dollars running local charter schools.

Mitchell founded RBA in 2000, hiring Mark Cramer as his headmaster. Multiple sources tell us Baker recently fired Cramer after 13 years together.

Charter schools get most of their funding from state and local tax dollars. In 2012, documents show that Brunswick County Schools paid Mitchell $4.1 million. That included 16% of the RBA’s revenue that went towards management fees, more than $600,000 for “staff development and supervision,” and other costs like rent.

Baker owns the land Charter Day School and RBA sit on through a group called the “Coastal Habitat Conservancy,” according to county documents. Tax records report Baker received almost a million dollars to rent the land back to himself. “Coastal Habitat Conservancy” also is reported to own most of the equipment and buildings / trailers the school uses to educate students. That equipment is also rented and the money is paid back to Baker.

Tax records also show Mitchell got $3 million of $8 million in gross receipts collected by RBA and Charter Day School in 2010. Baker refuses to turn over any financial records regarding how much he pays himself, staff and teachers. Under state law, he is not required to since RBA is a private entity.

Brunswick County schools claim each student be educated by RBA is costing it $2,464 per student on the local level and $4,692 from potential state funding – a total of $7,156 per pupil. An attorney for RBA counters that the cost is more like $3,300.

We called the RBA offices Wednesday to try to talk with Baker. We were hung up on twice by his assistant, Jill Applewhite.

We will continue to investigate this story and will have updates over the coming days.

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68 Comments on "ONLY ON 3 INVESTIGATION: Documents show founder of Roger Bacon Academy making millions"

2015 years 10 months ago

So, if you kids couldn’t pick out state or capitals when they were in the fourth grade there is a problem. My kids could do it in the first grade and it had nothing to do with them going to CDS (which they did). The reason they could was because we spend time with them at home doing what parents should do.

So, I would think you are the more of the reason and the problem. I don’t expect any school to teach my kids everything. Something’s have to be taught at home.

2015 years 10 months ago

Put perfectly

2015 years 10 months ago

So, do you guys just walk around holding your pockets open waiting for people to drop money in them for no reason? Do you like all of your “free stuff”? Don’t think it fair that someone has the innate ability to make lots of money through honest enterprise?

Obama wants each and every one of you! Go get in line for your rations!

2015 years 10 months ago

I just love how everything is blamed on the Republicans when all of this was started when the Democrates was in control of everything.

Where do you get his salary is 3M?

2015 years 10 months ago

Look this is done at the public school level also. One of my sons now goes to Williston and I received a letter from them that he was select to be tested in the RtL program. So, they are all teaching to the test in one way or another. Some just do it better than others.


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