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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s statewide school board is forcing two charter schools to close after reviews found poor academic performance and financial problems at each.

The state Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to refuse new operating charters for Coastal Academy for Technology and Science in Morehead City and PACE Academy in Carrboro. Thirty-six charter schools have been closed since North Carolina began experimenting with the taxpayer-supported, lightly regulated schools in the 1990s.

Regulators say only about half the students attending the two high schools graduated within four years, compared with 82 percent statewide.

Charter schools are public schools allowed to operate with fewer rules than traditional classrooms as long as they adhere to standards spelled out in their state-issued operating agreement, or charter.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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