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Homenorth carolinaNorth Carolina board seeks funding control over state charter schools after state...

North Carolina board seeks funding control over state charter schools after state strips board of other powers

The State Board of Education approved on Thursday a policy that seeks to reassert control over North Carolina charter schools weeks after the General Assembly shifted decision-making for approving these nontraditional public schools to a panel filled with mostly legislative appointees.

The board voted 8-3 to direct the Charter School Review Board to submit to the education board all initial and renewal charter applications that the new panel approves and related financial documents. The State Board of Education will then decide whether to disburse state and federal funds to the charter school after determining if it complies with government funding regulations.

The policy doesn’t include a list of reasons why funding would be withheld, WRAL-TV reported. State Board of Education members supporting the policy say they’re exercising their authority from the North Carolina Constitution to allocate funds to and ensure financial accountability for charter schools, of which there are over 200 statewide.

Republican state Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt, the nonvoting board secretary, said the policy is vague, and charter schools don’t get funding until they’re very close to opening.

“I don’t see what a couple of bad actors have done should be a policy that jeopardizes essentially the ability of a charter school to open its doors to the families who’ve chosen to go there,” Truitt said.

The North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools, a trade association for charters, said the separation of funding and charter application approvals violates state law and threatens the ability of some new schools to open in a state with long waiting lists of students.

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