The North Carolina state Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to renew the charter of Cape Lookout Marine Science High School, but the troubled school must adhere to several new requirements, including state standards for taking end-of-course tests.
The students at Cape Lookout, like all other students in the state, must take all end-of-course tests and at the same 95 percent test taking rate as everyone else. In addition, enrollment at the school cannot dip below 65; the fund balance must stay in the black; and the school’s audits must not produce any red flags. The renewal is good for two years.
“If they don’t play by the rules,” board Chairman Bill Harrison said, “they are agreeing to surrender their charter. We won’t have to go through the revocation process.”
Located in Morehead City, Cape Lookout now has a largely revamped school board, one of many efforts to improve upon its track record. A history of financial woes, enrollment issues and low test scores led the board of education to rebuff its renewal application earlier this year. A subsequent court decision, however, allowed the school to stay open.