Updated: Nov 24, 2019
Have you heard about charter schools yet? You’re thinking, “My child’s school is okay,” except... well... a few things have caught your attention lately.
Fear, misconception and procrastination tends to do a fantastic job at keeping us from thinking about school shopping. You fear ---gasp--- your school might lose money to a Public Charter School if you happen to get into one, right? You heard the rumor about the folks with the evil siphons.
Let’s address those minor concerns you had, but didn't address. Were they anything like these issues which have occurred in North Carolina government-run schools?
school board members saying "Charters segregate communities?"
MVP math dad getting sued by the curriculum company?
Diversity Inventory survey asking about sexuality in school?
7th grade boy who got arrested?
Cheerleaders who posed with a Trump flag?
Girl left outside, abandoned, as she awaited her bus on school grounds?
3rd grader who left the recess yard and walked to a McDonald’s?
Bus fire, right after it was serviced, with the driver and student on board?
"Circle Time,” and how doing a worksheet is easier than a Dr visit?
Activist bookstore staffers going to sell books at the elementary school?
Students not saying the Pledge of Allegiance?
We don’t want to make waves, but consider what happens when one of those issues lands in your lap ... and if you decided you did want to try a charter school? What if you applied today, your name was picked and they called to inform you a seat was ready for your child?
Let's brush up on the truth and dispel some myths you might hear about your new school. The North Carolina Association For Public Charter Schools helps us get to the bottom of things. In August of 2019 Rhonda Dillingham, the Executive Director of the organization stated in an interview:
Charter schools are public schools authorized by the State Board of Education. They’re of course tuition free, and they are schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools, but they’re accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charter documents. Of course, they’re required to demonstrate performance in academic achievements, financial management, and even organizational stability. And if a charter school doesn’t meet those performance goals, it could be closed. Another difference in charter schools and district schools is the funding. Charter schools do not get funding for their facilities, so they have to find the money in their operating budgets, which is why we sometimes say they tend to do more with less.
Truth #1: Charter schools operate on a lottery system that does not discriminate based on race or wealth.
Truth #2: Charter schools are 100% accountable to the State Board of Education. Charter schools that don’t perform academically face the most serious consequence, closure. Charter school students are typically funded at $0.73/dollar compared to district school students. Charter schools receive no capital funding for schools or buses.
Truth #3: Most charter schools provide transportation and food without receiving any funding to do so.
Truth #4: Charter schools academically outperform district schools. Traditional NC public schools have an average academic proficiency score of 56.1% while NC charter schools have a proficiency score of 66.7%.
It’s time parents see the truth and realize a good choice could be right around the corner and well within reach. What’s stopping them?
The full interview can be read here.