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Charter schools and rising tensions in Rutherford (video)

When state lawmakers began debating lifting the cap on charter schools, NC Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska began examining those who would like see more of these alternative schools scattered across North Carolina.

In her latest piece, Ovaska profiles a charter school in rural Rutherford County that is backed by an ultra-conservative, out-of-state philanthropist and political activist.

Ovaska notes that while Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy is quick to promote the school’s high SAT test scores and international field trips, it’s less forthcoming about those who sit on its board and make decisions about the school’s curriculum and management, as well as the $7.6 million in public funds the school runs on.

Ovaska appears on News & Views this weekend to discuss how charter schools have become a wedge issue in this county. She also details some of the issues parents and lawmakers should consider before Senate Bill 8 becomes law. For a preview of her radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:

5 Comments


  1. Tim

    April 21, 2011 at 3:33 am

    seems like you are whining about a red herring… you just don’t like the fact that a CONSERVATIVE school is being run and somehow it gets public money.. now you know how it feels when the typical parent’s hair stands on end each time we hear about the bull crap that liberals try to cram down the throats of students with their nutball indoctrination… time to get a bit of your own medicine…

  2. Mark

    April 21, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Thank you for taking the time to report this. I only wish other local news organizations would spend as much time as you have covering this issue..

  3. Jack

    April 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

    As public dollars go toward this and other efforts the issue will continue to be accountability.

    When the NCGA speaks of privatizing government services accountability will go out the window and the citizens of NC will be left to thinking “What is going on with our tax dollars?”

    Plutocrats want small government and no accountability yet big dollars from the government to fund their social engineering efforts.

  4. Scott

    April 25, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Hey Tim,
    Get a grip and hold on. Charters are in the business of making money and the state of NC is the Golden Goose.
    My wife and I are typical parents and we have children in public schools and can not afford the charter in my county.
    Charters will need to show full accountability otherwise the opportunity for misappropriation of funds will occur.

  5. Jerry

    April 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Yes public dollars do go to the charters thus making them public schools. The charter school does not cost me any more than the traditional public schools did when they attended them. They were not challenged in the traditional system. Many of the teachers had both of my children helping slower students with their work during class in order to catch them up to class levels. I do not send my child to school to teach the other students how to speak english or to do their math. This is the teachers job and my tax dollars should, and now do go, to MY child’s education. The traditional public school system is very much flawed and overstaffed with administration level positions that have little to no benefit to the actual students.

    Scott, what exactly can you not afford at a charter school and to my knowledge charter schools are NONPROFIT organizations and do report to the state as to where the funds are spent.

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