McCrory to leave charter school company transparency to NC School Board

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Submitted: Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:06am
Updated: Fri, 08/08/2014 - 3:56am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Pat McCrory this summer demanded transparency for the way charter schools spend public money. A bill he signed today guarantees public access to some of that information, but lets companies that run the schools keep private other information about their spending.

“I am pleased the legislature responded to my concerns and required full transparency for the names and salaries of all charter school teachers and employees,” McCrory said in a news release today announcing the bill’s signing.

While Senate Bill 793 requires charter schools and their school boards adhere to North Carolina’s public records and meeting laws, it does not include provisions to require the private companies that run the schools to release to the public all information about how they spend taxpayer money, including the salaries of top administrators.

McCrory’s statement on the bill seems to indicate, though, he is pushing state regulators to assure some level of accountability from charter school companies.

“I have also asked Chairman Bill Cobey and members of our State Board of Education to ensure that contracts with private entities also provide transparency on salaries and other personnel information,” McCrory said. “Consistent with the State Board of Education’s authority to oversee the successful operations of public charter schools, Chairman Cobey has assured me that he will direct agency staff to collect information from charter schools, including all financial and personnel records, necessary to achieve that goal.”

Earlier this summer McCrory threatened to veto the bill if it included language that would make the salary data of employees private. That was eventually pulled from the bill.

Several area media outlets, including WWAY, have submitted requests to Baker Mitchell’s Brunswick County-based Roger Bacon Academy and Charter Day School Inc., which run four charters schools in southeastern North Carolina, asking for administrator salaries. Monday, Sawyer Batten, RBA’s Public Information Officer, denied our most recent request by claiming state public record laws are not applicable to RBA, and thus the company is not required to release any information. The company claims the school administrators, despite their clear roles within the schools, do not work for the school, but for the private company.

McCrory spokesman Ryan Tronovitch has not answered how the governor plans to enforce any NC School Board directives for transparency from charter school companies or whether that information would include administrator salaries.


  • guestwhat says:

    The best governor money can buy.

  • Guest000000 says:

    There’s a reason this pack of crooks doesn’t want to honor your LAWFUL request to see how they are spending our tax dollars.

  • billb says:

    WWAY, I bet that hurt… Guess you will have to try to find something else to report on.

  • Bill B says:

    We need to be concerned of performance. If the administrators are being paid exceptionally well yet the schools are performing better than traditional schools. The these administrators are creating an atmosphere of responsibility that is needed. It would say to me that administrators in public schools need equal pay to set the same atmosphere of accountability. And as in the private sector performance equals continued employment. We need educators and administrators that excel and produce theoughout their career.

  • Vog46 says:

    I agree thyat public schools should be like charter schools and that sports should be eliminated or made “pay for play”. I have suggested the same thing for UNCW.
    ‘On the flip side charter schools need to release salary info JUST LIKK PUBLIC SCHOOLS DO.
    Mitchhell Baker, through shell corporations is charging the schools he operates leasing fees and management fees AND is NOW using state funds to offset those fees.
    He is a crook and belongs in the hoosegow.
    Is this the EXAMPLE you want set in front of YOUR kids? HINT – I also feel the same way about Markey having an affair with his secretary (BOTH of them need to NOT be near kids).
    Your continued harping on charter schools doing more with less is spot on jj but it is also NOT addressing the issue of freedom of information access to records that are part and parcel of public funding.
    Transparency is a wonderful thing……


  • jj says:

    Vog, do you know Mr. Baker? Have you ever had time to sit down and talked to him? Have you had kids that have gone to his schools? I can say yes to all the above.

    Now, do other companies that have contacts with the State have to give their employees information. I don’t see the paving company that has a contract to pave a section of road requiring to do this.

    All, I know he is doing more for less and doing a better job at it. I really wish people would really start looking at the waste at the public school system and the outrageous salaries there and the waste of money.

    Just look at the school buildings. They have money for repairs, but if you walk through the schools you will find repairs are not being done. I can think of the New Hanover Field house. Look at the shape they let that get to before they had to pay thousands to repair.

  • Guest000000 says:

    Everything you said is fine and well. But if that’s the case, why do they need to be exempt from the transparency rules our public schools are subject to. If they indeed have nothing to hide, prove it. At the time WWAY made the request, it was making it under existing transparency laws. Why wouldn’t Mr. Baker honor the LAWFUL request. Just what are you all hiding??

  • jj says:

    Take the time to read this. I think you will find the answer to your question.

  • Vog46 says:

    The test scores justify the lack of disclosure.
    TWO different things and another veiled attempt at a misdirect by Mitchell Baker.
    Yes I have met him
    NO I do not have kids in his school that was made clear up front in one of my first posts on this subject.
    Test results have NOTHING to do with transparency.

    Mitchell Baker is a crook.
    An yes I happen to agree with you that some public school officials are paid too much (compared to Mitchell Bakers pay which is??????) and that some sports need to go or at least become pay to play.
    Keep trying jj – you are nothing but a mouthpiece for MB and he is a crook and you are promoting such a thing – thats a good example for your kids isn’t it? Its just as bad as Markey boinking his secretary and getting her pay raises.
    The Freedom of Information Act gives WWAY the ability to get these records – Mitchell Baker cannot hide behind his results forever. He would be far better off giving that info up now. He deserve every criticism he gets until he releases the info


  • Guest2020 says:

    Are the paving company’s employees state employees? The employees at a charter school are considered public school employees. Do the paving company’s employees receive state benefits? Charter school employees do.

    There is no doubt that there is a lot of waste in the public school system. Some people think that throwing more money at them is the solution. They need to look more into trimming the fat. However, you cannot deny that there is something suspicious about someone who will not comply with a lawful request for the financial records. It sets off alarms and has people wondering what he is hiding. If he is, by law, required to be transparent, then why is he refusing, if he has nothing to hide.

  • Guest2020 says:

    If the public schools were educating the kids properly, there wouldn’t be a need for the charter schools. The public schools definitely need to cut out the things that aren’t necessary and focus on academics.

  • simple solution says:

    simple solution, quit funding private schools with public money

  • jj says:

    A better solution would be for the public schools to educate the kids with the same amount of money the Charter schools get. Put all the money spent on sports into education.

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