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House Dems label charter school bill an “assault on public education” (video)

Next week, a House Appropriations Subcommittee will begin debating Senate Bill 8, legislation that would eliminate North Carolina’s cap on charter schools and set-up separate oversight from the state Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction.

On Thursday, House Democrats railed against the legislation, calling it a “rash step” that would “bankrupt our schools.” Specifically, lawmakers are concerned that an unlimited number of charter schools would pull money away from many public school districts.

N.C. Policy Watch’s Sarah Ovaska has also noted that the bill doesn’t seem to have a fiscal note detailing what the pending legislation would cost the state.

To hear Rep. Tricia Ann Cotham (Mecklenburg-D) and Rep. Rick Glazier (Cumberland-D) speak against the bill, click below:

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18 Comments

  1. JeffS

    March 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    “bankrupt our schools.”

    That’s the plan. I don’t think anyone is making a secret of it.

  2. Michelle H

    March 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    People should consider the availability of schools when they move somewhere. I would assume if I lived on an island on the outer banks, schools would be a problem. That’s why I don’t live on an island in the outer banks. We CANNOT bankrupt our public schools for these exclusive charter schools. We live in Rutherford county and are barely hanging on and the Charter school here is going to China for their schools field trip? MMmmm. Something stinks here.

  3. Sarah

    March 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I’m a student a RS middle, a public school, and I have been enjoying my year, until senate bill 8. If they go forward with this my whole county will loose sports, band, art, drivers ED, honors classes, teachers, our new laptops, and students. They say they they care about us kids yet they slam our faces in the mud and don’t want to hear what we have to say. We’re not stupid. Earlier I tried to e-mail Mike Hager and Debbie Clary yet they blocked me. We shouldn’t let them hurt our schools!

  4. Liz

    March 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I too am a resident of Rutherford county and it is despicable to see some that some of the schools in this county are falling apart, yet a brand new buidling has been built to house the “expanding” charter school here. This school is “open for all” yet, they do not offer transportation for the students who attend so for the children who rely on the school busses, this is not very feasible or an “open opportunity” for them. The public schools in this county have been put on the backburner for too long and this bill will only enhance the negative view of public schools that is already too prevalent in this county and state.

  5. Alesi

    March 4, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I’m a student at RS Middle School, too. It would be a crisis for public schools to lose their art and music classes. These classes are as important as any other; they are part of the American CULTURE, which is just as significant in a student’s education as English or math. Everyone claims the charter schools need the money, but I am in full belief that the public schools needs it more. In my sixth and seventh grade years, I went on very few (if any) field trips, and was finally given the opportunity to go to Raleigh in eighth grade. Meanwhile, in a nearby charter school, the students are going all the way to CHINA. Now, you tell me, who needs the money more?

  6. Brandy

    March 4, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I also am a student from RS middle, this “bill 8″ is a disaster! This is very outrageous and absurd. I completely disagree with everything about bill 8, this bill is taking away programs that are very useful to our health and education. Michelle Oboma preaches on how kids need to be healthier and exercise, yet you deny us the right to be in sports and clubs. This bill is also extremely unfair, we raise our money, we earn it and work hard and you’re just going to hand money over to charter schools. They should be treated just like us, they should earn their own money just like we do. Please hear us out this bill is NOT in your public’s best interest, yes the Charter schools will love it but the rest of schools do not feel the same way.

  7. Lois Winstead

    March 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    The leaders in the Houseand Senate talk about saving money????and then, want to allow more charter schools and send more money from Raleigh. Our money. No thanks, we don’t need two public school systems. This smells – and not like Spring flowers.

  8. Cody

    March 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I am a student at R.S middle and i do not agree with this bill at all. Some of my friends are in J.R.O.T.C and if that is cut they would have nothing to do, and many of them say things like that and sports are what is keeping them straight in school. I love sports and if they were taken i don’t know what i would do. There is nothing better than to go after school and play the sport u love and be with friends. This is just terrible.

  9. Steve

    March 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Technically Charter Schools are part of the Public School System. And since Charter Schools are Public School – giving money to charter schools is not bankrupting Public Schools is it only redistributing money not bankrupting.

    NC has a graduation rate under 70%. I would think that recognizing the obvious is that a 70% graduation rate in not strong system.

    Also most public schools admission is based up address (so elite neighborhoods go to elite schools) while Charter Schools have a unbiased lottery system.

    Maybe instead of blindly defending a school system with a graduation rate of 70% that forces low-income kids to stay in low income schools we need to be working towards alternatives and solutions instead of insults and inflammatory accusations.

  10. JM

    March 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Steve, you know absolutely nothing about Charter schools! They do NOT keep kids based on lottery. They may take them, but then the ship them off to the public schools after they have not followed state mandated law in IEPs for exceptional students and the kids are so far behind, the public schools are then charged with not only teaching them, but catching them up.

    Please look at the laws and policies that bind the public schools as opposed to charter schools. A charter is not a public school. Administrators do not even have credentials to be administrators, teachers do not have credentials to be teachers (especially teachers for children with learning disabilities) and students can be removed from the educational setting when they send them packing.

  11. public school kid

    March 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    What about the tax dollars for public school students who are now being home schooled? They are not allowed to participate in public school sports but the public schools benefit from their tax dollars. It would be interesting to see the financial sum on this benefit but, alas, it is never mentioned.

  12. Maleek.H

    March 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I am a student at RS middle school and i want my voice to be heard. We,as kids who go to public school, have done nothing wrong to get treated like this. There are some ” bad apples” but the majority care about their future. We will lose our after school activities, which will give children evermore reason to join gangs and do other bad things. If you don’t pass the bill everybody’s life will keep going on like, usual but if you pass the bill everybody that is or has a public school student’s life will be changed forever. Please think about this because I love public school and a lot of other children do to.

  13. Philip

    March 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Ok, let’s just get right to the point. If Charter Schools are part of the school system just like the rest of the public schools, then they should have to raise their own money just like we do. They shouldn’t be special and get 10% of our money just because they are a charter school. Plus this effects more than just Rutherford County; this effects all of the other 99 counties of North Carolina. According to Sarah from up above Rutherford County alone will lose sports, band, art, Driver’s Ed, honors classes, teachers, and our new laptops. A recent statistic showed that Rutherford County is one of the 13 most depressed counties in the COUNTRY. According to Steve, as seen above, North Carolina has a 70% graduation rate. Rutherford County alone has a 68.7% graduation rate. If you combine the facts shown by Steve and Sarah, that graduation rate will go down even more. To be truthful, the graduation rate of all of the state of North Carolina will go down; and I could understand. Most children don’t even like school. So if you take away extracurricular activities such as J.R.O.T.C., band, chorus, and Driver’s Ed, as well as getting rid of honors classes for the children that actually care about their education, you are just losing children and your almighty ‘graduation rate’. So frankly, there is no reason for you to pass the bill. This bill will ruin our county, as well as our state. The graduation rate of the United States is somewhere between 65% and 80%. Technically, if the graduation rate of a state goes down, the graduation state of a country would go down as well. So would passing this bill, causing thousands of students to drop-out of high school, and therefore causing the graduation rate of the country to decrease be the best choice for the state. I think not, but that will be up to the Senate and House of Representatives of the General Assembly, now won’t it?

  14. Kaleb S.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Look, I’m a 7th grader at RS Middle, and this whole bill is a cruel JOKE! You can’t actually expect to pass a bill requiring our money to go to T.J. for no reason! We don’t need more charter schools! If the first lady herself is trying to get us to be fit and active, then why are you trying to take our sport supplies and money to take to a charter school who’s students have to pay to get in. This bill is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Jadaeja

    March 8, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I am a 8th grade student at RS Middle and I highly disagree with Senate Bill 8. In my opinion i think that if this bill passes Rutherford County traditional Schools will be a disaster. As I’ve heard, field trips will be wiped out completely and there will be no more sports. So I’m begging you please stop Senate Bill 8. We don’t deserve this.

  16. Sarah

    March 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Hi, my name is Sarah Dula. I am a student at R.S. Middle School. This Senate Bill 8 is a terrible idea. Look, we only have 16 comments on this website. Spread the word, tell people to stop this. If we get enough people against this bill, there’s no way they can pass it.

  17. Dennis Coldren

    March 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

    My problem with this is that I as a tax payer and voter, I get to elect the members of my local school board who over see the use of my money. Taxation with representation. With the charter school I have NO say in how my tax money is used. I can not vote to elect the charter school board. Taxation without representation The charter school is like a private school using my tax dollars and I have NO input in voting their headmaster or directors. If it is a public school I want local control of the people spending my dollars.. .

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