State advisory council hears requests for new charter schools
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RALEIGH -- One by one, boards representing hopeful charter schools stood ready to answer questions and explain why they should get the chance to educate students.
"We will ensure that as for all students, who are interested in attending the school, transportation will not be a barrier," said Howard & Lillian Lee Scholar Board Member, Angela Lee.
The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars board from Chapel Hill were approved on the fast track program last year, but were unable to find property.
But on Tuesday, the school that hopes to, in part, serve minorities and low performing students were approved yet again.
"When we look at the data, there are gaps in the achievement of students who are of color and those who are not," said Principal Tamara Thomas.
Some critics of charter schools said they're not held to the same standard as traditional public schools and cause racial and socio-economic segregation. But advocates disagree.
"A lot of students can't move out of their houses into neighborhoods that have schools that they like. So charter schools offer them an option,” said Eddie Goodall of the NC Public Charter Schools Association.
The public and privately funded schools are governed by a non-profit board of directors, but run by a for profit-company.
And ever since the state lifted the cap limit, applications are rolling in.
"The application process is becoming stronger and I think the requirements that we ask people to be able to do for charter schools is becoming higher, and I have no problem with that because they're taking the most precious people we've got, our children," said John Betterton, president of the NC Public Charter School Advisory Council.
The NC Public Charter School Advisory Council also looked at institutions up for renewal.
They'll pass their recommendations on to the State Board of Education who's expected to make a final decision in the Fall.