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Latest release from charter schools still missing requested information

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- An area charter school company has released more public information we requested, but they are still not giving us everything we've asked for.

Charter Day School, Inc., Which oversees Charter Day School in Leland, Columbus Charter School in Whiteville and Douglass Academy in Wilmington, released the schools' budgets to us, but they still won't say what administrators make.

And now we're get an insider's perspective on issues.

In its latest response to WWAY's requests for public information, Charter Day School, Inc., released school budget info, but we still have not received information about how much taxpayer money goes to pay administrators.

The budgets show Charter Day School and Columbus Charter School spend 16 percent of their revenues, more than $2 million total, for a management fee. More than $300,000 is earmarked between the two schools for "RBA bonus."

RBA is Roger Bacon Academy, the company that runs the schools, as is clear on its website. And while our requests for information have been sent to Roger Bacon Academy about Roger Bacon Academy and the schools it runs, CFO Mark Dudeck has responded to our requests on Charter Day School letterhead writing this time, "CDS is aware of no 'organization under RBA' and neither makes nor receives correspondences between The Roger Bacon Academy and Coastal Habitat Conservancy, LLC," which is another company controlled by RBA founder Baker Mitchell.

Meanwhile a Charter Day School teacher, who has asked to remain anonymous, shared with us a long list of issues at the school. Among the problems she sees:

-"We have cameras in our classrooms where administration and corporate can watch us at any time they would like. This is an invasion of trust and privacy."

-"Our school day is longer than any other school! And now this coming year they have extended our day another 10 minutes, 20 minutes in some grades. Although teachers are working longer and hard than in other school (sic)- we still are not getting compensated for that extra time."

-"We do not have a cafeteria, gymnasium, or a proper library. This makes for very long strenuous days for teachers."

While the state Director of Charter Schools has said charter schools must play by the same public records rules as public school systems, that could be changing. Yesterday the NC House approved legislation that would block charter school employees' names from being publicly disclosed with their salaries.

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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The only people who truly

The only people who truly know what happens inside these classrooms are the teachers. I'm a teacher in Raleigh, and as I cannot speak for the teachers at Charter Day School, I know there is teaching occurring, there is love, and there is respect in all classrooms. What it really comes down to at the end of the day is being there for the students. Yes, the teachers in NC should be compensated a lot more, but this is what we love to do and we are there for the students. I don't care what the admin staff make at Charter Day School and neither should WWAY.

SIMPLE

You are receiving Tax Payer Money. Stop stalling and release the requested information as required BY LAW. Then it will cease to be a story.

will cease to be a story

You could only hope it crease to be a story. However, with WWAY it will never end. The real store is how the public school system waste so much money and don't come near the test schools of RBA schools.

jj...

I believe it's been covered here numerous times, but I'll repeat:

It's easy to maintain your test scores when you are not required by law to teach EVERY student, regardless of academic or behavioral issues. And what is this waste of money you refer to? Would it be the transportation to school they are required to provide that Charter Schools are not?, or is it the daily lunch and breakfast that Charter Schools don't have to provide?

The bottom line is they are hiding something...quite possibly a waste of taxpayer money on unapproved salaries or expenditures.

Guest000000

Check your facts. The Public school system gets money for transportation and lunch money to do this and RBA doesn't. The Public school even get the money for the kids that go to RBA. Check your facts.

Also, I really don't think the kids are prescreened based on academic or behavioral. I do believe that in New Hanover County they have a special school for these type of kids. I think it is called Lake Forest Academy.

New News

Darn, Scott.

This dead horse is losing interest. Perhaps you can move on to another news story?

How about reporting about the wait list that Charter Day School and Columbus Charter School currently has?

How about investigating the millions and millions of dollars New Hanover and Brunswick county school are getting. Get a copy of their budgets and go line by line to figure out where every penny is spent and why they need more money in order to keep from laying teachers and assistants off....

Oh, I know. Your obsession.

Charter schools

Someone said on another news story that charter schools have a leg up on public schools right from the get go because parents have to be more involved in their kids education because they have to bring them and pick them up amongst other things. I have to agree with this synopsis and this level of involvement is probably carried over into the scholastic work as well. So it would appear as though the "higher test scores" (indeed, there is VERY LITTLE nationwide data to suggest this as of yet) could be an offshoot of that parental involvement.
But this financial facet of Charter schools warrants more investigation. Mr Baker shields his corporations from taxation under the ruse of being non profits. He leases equipment to the schools, he provides management services to the schools and then apparently uses to those tax savings to pay himself quite handsomely. This to me looks like bookkeeping smoke and mirrors for the benefit of a very few people.
While I applaud Mr Bakers drive and ambition - it would appear as though he is NOT putting MOST of his monies into the education of the kids - he is using it to line his own pockets.
From the story above:
"The budgets show Charter Day School and Columbus Charter School spend 16 percent of their revenues, more than $2 million total, for a management fee"

If this were to happen in public schools we'd be up in arms - in fact. the City of Wilmington is constantly being harangued here by me, and others for conducting study after study and hiring of consultants.
CDS is NO DIFFERENT and should be fully investigated for mis-use of state funds by the State Auditor and AG's offices.
A 16% budget line for management services that HE provides?
Sorry but to me that smacks of criminal mis use of funds

Vog

Point is?

Your concern is mislead. IF there is so much money to be made, why are the traditional public schools continuously complaining about not having enough money to educate the children?

Perhaps the demand should be toward the traditional public schools to do more.

Nope

Public schools cannot lease equipment to themselves like this guy does. Nor can they charge themselves management fees.
Nice try at a misdirect but it failed

Release the records - even Gov McCrory said he's veto ANY bill that attempts to allow Charter schools to hide the records.
This guy is setting a very bad example for students.......

Vog

Management fee

Well, can we start with New Hanover Board of Ed?

Dr. Tim Markley 200k plus salary.
Dawn Brinson 97K
Valita Quattlebaum 96k
Dr. John Welmers 120k
Mary Small 120k

That is 600k with just the ones I found. Holiday and a few more doesn't show up. This doesn't include their support team and Assistance. I do remember something about a secretary making 75k a year.

Also, you have to remember building and equipment expense. So, the money you are complaining about isn't very much is it?

So,

Brilliant

Great point...What about Brunswick County? What about Columbus County? I am sure that they would like to have their names and salaries published.....it is called transparency.

Not that it really matters....but it is called transparency.

Uniform

I'm surprised the teacher that was interviewed didn't mention the fact that all female teachers have to wear skirts every day (including in the Winter). What year is this?

Privatization=profits

This is what we'll get when the government divests itself from public education and allows for corporations to run our school systems for profit.

The NC GOP is owned by ALEC and this is one of their primary objectives. Run the qualified teachers out of the state, set up charter schools with no oversight, and let poor and middle-class kids get a sub-standard education, making them unfit for anything but working in fast-food/service jobs that pay minimum wage.

It's the return of the feudal system and the wealthiest 1% are your overlords!

What is it with you and Marx

What is it with you and Marx being so anti-profit?

Last time I checked the feudal system was the absence of privatization. Did they not teach history at J. Stalin High?

earl

Once again, you managed, with little effort to get everything wrong. A feudal state was definitely privatization and all the wealth was held by the few with all the work done by the many. You're so busy labeling anyone that doesn't agree with you that you have just become a drifter, going in whatever direction that your god,Rush Limbaugh, leads you.

The system was based on the

The system was based on the King (government) passing out titles and land. Then those select chosen few would use what is effectively slave labor to work the land. Again the lack of privatization. Much more closely aligned with communism or Obamunism. Did you teach at J. Stalin High?

Idiot

Can you say oligarchy? Communism wasn't even around until the 19th century. Do you know what privitization actually means?

Poor teacher

Dear teacher who wishes not to be identified:

You do not have to continue to work where you are working now - under such harsh conditions. There are many other schools where you could work.

Of course, you may have to sacrifice the structured classroom, complete with camera, which assists you with maintaining an orderly classroom. Ensures you are doing the job you were hired to do. Protects you against wrongful accusations.

If you are doing your job, you should have nothing to be afraid of.

This is America. If the conditions are so harsh, you can move on! Of course this is America. You can call a news station who is bias and get them to broadcast your complaints.

Cameras

In deed- the cameras are not for teachers' protection-they are for unannounced observations.They make sure you never sit down, even on a stool in front of the class, do not allow students to work in cooperative groups in math (which is a benchmark in public school.

What About The Hummers?

I have not heard anyone mention the new Hummers bought for administrators. Parents, that is money not going to your child. Senator Goolsby was specific in one of his commercials that he would see to it that money went to teachers and children, not bureaucrats. Care to feign a guess as to how he will vote when the disclosure bill for charter schools hits the Senate?

Demand transparency!!!

Demand transparency!!!