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THE FOLLOWING IS AN EDITORIAL FROM STARNEWSONLINE.COM: Charter schools are here to stay in North Carolina, at least for the foreseeable future. As their numbers increase, however, the ability of the taxpayers to keep track of just how their money is spent is shrinking. That should worry residents who wouldn't tolerate the same secrecy from their school district or local government.

When the Charlotte Observer tried to get teacher salaries for its region's charter schools, it was told those records aren't public. State officials are interpreting the laws that created independent charter schools to exempt them from the same level of financial scrutiny as the traditional public schools – even though millions of taxpayer dollars are siphoned from the public schools to charter schools annually.

They and charter operators say there's not need to increase accountability requirements and take the position that those schools are exempt from many aspects of the state's public records and open meetings laws. Baker Mitchell, whose Roger Bacon Academy operates charter schools in New Hanover, Brunswick and Columbus counties, is also president of the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter schools and a member of the state's Charter School Advisory board. He told the Charlotte Observer that the annual audit required, which is public information, should suffice.


Comment on this Story

  • taxpayer

    Given the dropout rate and the percentage of students who perform below grade level…I think we know what we’re getting from the public schools.

  • Jasper Fant

    Charter schools need to tell taxpayers what they’re getting for their money? How about public schools telling taxpayers what they’re getting for their money? Hmmmm?

  • otherguest

    Charter schools are a blatant violation of the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, period. And a misappropriation of my and your tax dollars.

    Furthermore, the least common sense indicates that there is a conflict of interest (at minimum) for the owner of a private school receiving public money to also sit on the state’s Charter School Advisory Board.

    The whole situation stinks. The public should not stand for it, nor should our elected representatives. I wonder why they do so.

  • jj

    I don’t think it was a misappropriation of my money. I had two son to go there and I will have to say I am well pleased with the education they both received at the Charter school. That is why I have to standup for RBA and the education they give their students.

    If you want to play football, baseball or any other sports you do that after school at your own expense when your kids go to a Charter School. What I think is a waste of money is the money that is put into sports by the public school system. The school system should be educating the kids and not training to be sport stars.

  • Erlkoenig

    “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, libraries, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged”

    NC Constitution article IX.

  • jj

    WWAY has some type of hidden agenda against Mr. Mitchell and Roger Bacon Academy. I am not sure what it is, but when WWAY wants to post something negative about Charter Schools they always pick on RBA. Why aren’t you looking at the other ones in the area?

    Let’s look at the test scores between RBA and the other schools in the area and see which one has the most bang for the bucks.

  • otherguest

    Specifically, Free Public Schools.

  • Erlkoenig

    Which includes Charter schools. Unfortunately, this also includes failing, drug infested, staffed with commie-loving hippies schools.

  • otherguest

    Commie loving hippies??
    That is a weird response.

  • SnarkmeisterGeneral

    otherguest, Erl has not advanced from the McCarthy era. He is, however, fun to watch!

  • Erlkoenig

    Educate yourself on who had to admit he lied in Senate testimony during this era. I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t McCarthy, and it wasn’t a Republican.


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