Governor McCrory approved a controversial charter schools bill today that some had speculated might be the only veto of the 2014 session. As NC Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner reported last week in a story entitled “Less transparency, fewer protections hallmarks of latest charter school legislation,” the bill provides a means for supposedly public charter schools to keep compensation paid to employees secret and opens the door to discrimination against LGBT students.
In his signing message, McCrory said that the salary secrecy issue had been adequately addressed in the bill.
“I am pleased the Legislature responded to my concerns and required full transparency for the names and salaries of all charter school teachers and employees. I have also asked Chairman Bill Cobey and members of our State Board of Education to ensure that contracts with private entities also provide transparency on salaries and other personnel information. Consistent with the State Board of Education’s authority to oversee the successful operations of public charter schools, Chairman Cobey has assured me that he will direct agency staff to collect information from charter schools, including all financial and personnel records, necessary to achieve that goal.”
As Wagner’s story noted, however, the Governor may be missing an important point:
“The bill, SB 793 Charter School Modifications, stipulates that the salaries of charter school teachers and those who sit on charter schools’ non-profit boards of directors are subject to public disclosure.
But many charter schools in North Carolina contract with for-profit companies that manage them—and the salaries of the employees of those private organizations would not be required to be made public.”
Not surprisingly, the Governor left the issue of discrimination against LGBT children completely unaddressed in his signing statement.
Read the rest of Wagner’s story – including critiques of the bill by various experts – by clicking here.