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Charter Day School information response leaves many questions

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- More than six weeks after WWAY requested information regarding faculty and staff salaries, the non-profit behind a group of area charter schools has responded to public information requests from WWAY and other area media outlets, but the response still leaves questions about how money is spent.

In a letter from Mark S. Dudeck, who identifies himself as an "Authorized Officer" of Charter Day School, Inc. (CDS), the parent company of Roger Bacon Academy and charter schools Charter Day School, Columbus Charter School, Douglass Academy and South Brunswick Charter School, said CDS agrees with the the NC Office of Charter Schools that it is subject to North Carolina's public records laws. As a result, CDS released total payouts for salaries by category and the number of staffers in each category. But citing a state law that exempts charter schools from all the requirements of a school board, refused to release names and corresponding salary information of school employees. That makes it unclear to tell how employees are being paid.

Click here to see the information CDS released

The data appears to show that 49 teachers at Leland's Charter Day School make an average of $35,843.88, 41 teachers at Columbus Charter School make on average $31,808.78 and three teachers at Wilmington's Douglass Academy make an average wage of $25,660. South Brunswick Charter School is scheduled to open this fall.

WWAY also requested the names, positions and salaries of administrators for Roger Bacon Academy, but that information is either not included in the release or lumped in under the Office & Support line item for each of the three schools.

WWAY requested the information after Joel Medley, Director of the NC Office of Charter Schools, informed groups holding charters that not complying with public information requests could result in the revocation of their charter. According to published reports, other schools have since complied with requests, including the name and salaries of each employee, but in his letter, Dudeck wrote, "CDS simply does not maintain salary lists of the type you requested," and that state law does not require a public agency from compiling a record that does not exist. However, state law mandates that certain personnel information is public record, including name, age, current position, title and current salary.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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RBA

DISCLOSURE - I have no dog in this fight - my kids are all out of school............

RBA, the students and parents, are to be commended for achieving the level of scholastic performance they have met. They have done so spending less dollars per student apparently as they do NOT provide transportation, lunches and sports. These peripheral expenditures public schools have MAY be the sole reason why schools like RBA spend less but of that I am not sure.
We, as conservatives rail against government employees in the public sector - using phrases like "Welcome to the real world" when budgets get cut - or "In a real company performance like that would get you fired."

But the REVERSE is also true. We expect our government, when spending OUR money to be transparent - transparent to the point of making public, names and salaries of government employees. RBA knew and knew full well when accepting government funds that this string was going to be attached. Yet they continue to 'shuck and jive' and dance around the information. This then makes them appear to be guilty of something nefarious and the only way to refute a rumor is with the truth.
So - RBA? Release the info.
Or are you afraid that by releasing it you will expose the "you can't inject the corporate profit into education" argument to be potentially TRUE? Or perhaps there's out right greed taking place here........
You can't have this both ways - you do a fine job on educating students but if you are accepting government funding then comply with the law. Otherwise the media will crush you with innuendo and doubt.

Vog

Would just like to inform

Would just like to inform you that we may not have transportation or food services, but we do have sports. Many more sports and clubs than most public schools. At least the ones I have knowledge of. A Lot of the sports are offered to all grade levels. Many have competed in national competitions and placed pretty high. Not trying to be mean just wanted to inform you.

parent

thanks for the info.
But I also believe parents pay for the privilege of playing sports - correct? If so they are mitigating the cost which is a good thing.
This discussion here boils down to parents of RBA students who are using test scores as an excuse to convince the news media not to go too deeply into the RBA's fiscal matters. Then there are those that say if you're using state funds you need to disclose everything salary wise.
I side with the disclosure side - have them disclose everything. It might shine a light as to where there's savings int he public school budgets...........OR.........it could show that EBA used state funds to pay exorbitant bonuses to teachers and or their esteemed leader.
But thats OK.........the test scores are higher than public schools:-).

Vog

RBC

My child attended Roger Bacon Academy for two years. I knew something was off about that school very quickly. Its hard to describe it but it felt like a quasi-military cult. If you were in the "in crowd" you were treated nicely. If you weren't (and that meant all "Northerners") you were treated with overt distain. I have never been treated so disrespectfully in a school office and I hope I never am again. The women that worked the front desk was the mother of the office manager. She made no bones about who she liked and who she didn't.

Many of the administration employees had military experience. A mural was painted on the side of a classroom building depicting a 911 fireman and a soldier. The words of the solider (carrying an automatic weapon) to the fireman were "I'll Take It From Here." Clearly, this was propaganda for the Bush administration. RBC administration also sent home letters to the parents asking that we vote Republican in the next election. The administration allowed speakers to come into the classroom and talk about their religion and hand out small books which looked like bibles. Who were these speakers and what religion did they represent? I don't know because the parents were never informed of this prior to them coming into the classroom or after the fact. When my child showed me the "Bible" I called to get information. I was stonewalled and hung up on by the office staff and no one returned my call.

The Boy Scout met regularly on campus and even had their own firing range on campus.When asked if the Girl Scouts could also meet on campus, administration refused because the Girl Scout Organization did not denounce homosexuality.

Why did I let my child stay there for two years? RBC uses a Rote (repetitive) method of teaching. It can be a good way to learn foundational knowledge quickly. Because of my child's specific needs at the time it was successful. It does not however, foster any critical thinking.

I commend WWAY for pursuing this organization. Its n0t that there "something fishy" about it - everything is fishy.

What an idiot you are...

I have no connection to that school at all and don't care about them.
But one thing I have heard about them at least teaching about values and our nations core beliefs.
But to hear this Liberal fool, spit out venom towards our Military and republicans and former President who was sooooo much better than this Traitor we have now!

The poor Liberal can't even see they are saying RBC several times. So I think your perception is clouded through your drug use. "You made assumptions so can I" I hope your child got all the values our public schools are handing out. So maybe you two can share a joint at your next get together.

I bet you wish if the soldier painted on the mural was holding a surrender flag. You would've liked that better!
What a terrible parent you must be. I pray you find your way.

Get over it OMG!!

Crave,

I am a Northerner and both my children went to RBA.
And I was treated fine. Maybe it's because you are a thin skinned Liberal that hates conservative values was the issue.
By the way how's your United States doing now? I sure didn't agree with everything Bush did either, but I can't think of anything positive your Liberal idiots have done to help us.
You give Northerners a bad name. So keep your unemployed warfare sucking trap closed!

You're killing your cause. By the way "I just won!"

RBC?

RBC is a bank, not a school.

It also stands for....

....Roast Beef Croissant....

Darn it

Now I'm hungry.

Public School

Public school is a hole that tax payer pour money into and hope the kids get an education.

The tax payer is the bank for public schools.

Salaries at Dept. of Public Instruction

I'd be very interested in finding out the names, ages, current position, title and current salary of every employee at the Department of Public Instruction(DPI). Let's find out what the "not in the classroom" employees make vs. our teachers. Here's an example of their fine work:
Technology Design and Innovation 7
> Note: Due to the potentially hazardous process this course
> has a recommended maximum of 20 students
> and a recommended number of instructional hours between 67
> – 90.
> This middle school course focuses on applying the design
> process in the invention or innovation of a new
> product, process, or system. Through engaging activities and
> hands-on projects, students focus on
> understanding how criteria, constraints, and processes
> affect designs. Emphasis is placed on brainstorming,
> visualizing, modeling, testing, and refining designs.
> Students develop skills in researching information,
> communicating design information, and reporting results.
> Activities are structured to integrate physical and
> social sciences, mathematics, English language arts, and
> art.
TRANSLATION: Wood Shop

The Story is...

The story is that public records laws are being broken by this group. Others have complied with information requests but CDS has stonewalled. Why? If CDS feels that their staff is too incompetent to gather the legally-required information, they could go grab a 10th grader out of class and have the information on a spreadsheet in an afternoon. Yet six weeks have passed without a full accounting. If CDS reported the information of just one teacher each day in that six week time frame, they'd be almost finished by now - minus the staff of course. Two/day and they would have completed this long ago.

Justifying the failure to comply with state law by saying that the students make good grades is not much of an argument.

Less money

OK, so isn't it the whole purpose of education to teach the students? How do you rate if this is being done? OH, grades and the score on the end of years testing would be an idea way to do it...

Oh, they do this for less money too. The problem is that they have found a legal loop hole in the law and so they have giving the information without listing the teachers name. You wanted the salary information and you go it.

If you want a story why doesn't WWAY do one on how much sports in school cost the tax payer? Why not remove sports from being school sponsored. This would mean no sports fields and building that has to be maintained, no travel cost and not coaches pay. Kids should be at school to learn and not play sports. This money could be used to pay teacher a better salary.

Weren't you a coach on the

Weren't you a coach on the football team at RBA ,JJ?

To answer your question

To answer your question yes I was. It was Pop Warner Football and I had to pay for both my boys to play. RBA allowed use to use their fields to practice on. So, what is your point? My point is what I said, the parents should have to pay the cost of the sports (which I did) their kids play. By the way, the field at RBA was mostly dirt and didn't cost the tax payers Millions of Dollars.

Dirt field?? They spent an astronomical amount of money ...

I'm sure you are aware of the amount of money that RBA spent on the new football field..... no more "dirt "to play on.... and who do you think paid for that field? Not your $60. which is used for equipment and uniforms.
You do also realize that the parents of children in traditional schools have to pay for those same things... right? Sure their buses take the kiddos to and from games.But doesn't RBA do the same? And where do you think that money is coming from?

Field

You really hasn't done your homework have you. Is this the field that was built for the PE classes? To move away from it being a black dirt field. Is this the field that Mr. Nobles donated the his time and equipment to get it in shape. It wasn't build for just football. Also, be glad to show you the check that I donated money to help make this happen. You seem to know who I am, so just give me a call.

Also, I don't believe RBA transported the kids on Saturday to pay Pop Warner football.

No I "hasn't" done my homework!

But I HAVE factual financial reports that show that the PIC paid 11.6 for the "football field". Who knows what that figure actually means... I would think it meant 11,600.
Wasn't aware that it was the exclusive "PE" field, being the only thing on it is 2 football goals and bleachers! Is it used for PE ... sure... we all know this. But you made a point to say that the kids are playing on a dirt field.... and that is simply not true.
Countless parents donate monies and supplies to the school, and it's great that you and Mr. Nobles did so for the PE?football field. But the reality is is that the school (PIC) still paid for most of it.

Wasted Time

I was at the post office today. A gentleman in line with me was talking to one of the postal workers about where he had been that morning. He stated that he had been a proctor at New Hanover High School - for the EOC testing. He stated that "the students were in charge". He also stated "the teacher was scared of the students". He also stated "Even I was afraid of a couple of them". WWAY....is this the best story you can find to write about? If you want to get involved in the school system, report about student behavior. Report about how the administration in the traditional public schools allow students to 'run the classroom'. Report about how the 'other' public schools have to keep the teachers that they have because of the difficulty in terminating low performing teachers. The Roger Bacon Academy does not have any teachers who are afraid to go to school each day. RBA does not tolerate substandard teachers. Focus on: RBA is doing more with less.

What are you looking for

What are you looking for? They spend the money to educate the kids and they do it better with less money than the public school system does. Can you please start looking into the public school system and the waste of money there? Can you not find out why the public school system can’t get their test scores up? Can you find out why they can’t run their system like RBA and spend less to do more?

However, that isn’t what your organization does. You are always trying to drag RBA through the mud. Go find a real store.

So....

So the story is.......you have no story?

If you think someone is being overpaid, just say so. Put your reputation on the line and make a statement.

You don't have enough real stories?

If the reporter

went to the NC Secretary of State website, they would learn the individual is an Assistant Treasurer and the contact point between the Secretary's office and the entity.

In many businesses, he would be considered cannon fodder.

But if they have complied, what's the big deal?

I'm surprised you've not questioned the $170,000 in bonuses.