State Board of Ed delays Douglass Academy decision


PEMBROKE, NC (WWAY) — Douglass Academy does not have enough students according to state law, but that is not stopping them from teaching, at least for now.

Today the NC Board of Eeducation met in Pembroke to discuss the next steps for the charter school.

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“If in this period of time they haven’t raised 65, I want a real good explanation as to why we ought to keep this school open,” board member John Tate said during the meeting.

State Board of Education members face a dilemma: Revoke Douglass Academy’s charter, or allow extra time to increase enrollment.

The school currently has 33 students; only about half of the required 65.

Joel Medley, director of the Office of Charter Schools, says a botched mailing hindered the marketing plan for the school. Board member Greg Alcorn is in the marketing business, and says this is no excuse.

“When you send out mailings, when you don’t get any replies you would normally research that,” Alcorn said.

But he does think the school should get another chance.

“I think they ought to have a second chance and be able to remedy that situation as far as their application process or pre-application process to get as many prospects as possible,” Alcorn said.

Medley says the waiver would give Douglass Academy until the second month of the next school year to get their enrollment numbers up to 65 students. If they don’t, they’ll once again have to face the Charter School Advisory Board.

Tate says there will be consequences if the school does not comply.

“If they don’t cure this problem in six months, it’s time to revoke the charter and move on,” he said

The NC Board of Education will make its final decision next month.

Douglass Academy headmaster Barbra Jones said last month there are 77 students enrolled for the 2014-2015 school year.