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Shuttered Columbus Co. charter school highlights need for accountability legislation

Members of the House Judiciary Committee, who will be discussing legislation today to increase the financial accountability of North Carolina’s charter schools, might want to revisit what happened to the students of a recently shuttered school in Columbus County.

As WECT-TV reported last week, SEGS Academy in Delco, NC gave parents just two days notice this month before closing its doors. That sent many students back to their public school district, without any funding:

segs“…the influx of students means some teachers have larger classes and little time to prepare the newcomers for end-of-grade tests, even though their scores will count toward Acme-Delco’s letter grade.

“We don’t have very much time to find out where they are, what they need and how we can make the very most of the last few days of this school year,” Hedrick said.

Because the former SEGS students are transferring so late, Columbus County Schools won’t get any state money for educating them through the end of the school year, according to Superintendent Alan Faulk.

“We’re going to teach them no matter what. It would have been nice had some funding come with them, but there is no funding and that’s not going to affect the way that we teach the children,” Faulk said. “We’re helping out in a situation that went bad, and we’ll do everything we can to help the students.”

Faulk said Tuesday his schools had enrolled approximately 25 former SEGS students, but he expected more to follow because 61 students who live in Columbus County’s district attended the charter school in March.”

House Bill 96, up for consideration this afternoon in Judiciary I, would addresses debt collection from personally liable individuals following the dissolution of a charter school.

The bill would also require the Department of Public Instruction’s Office of Charter Schools to maintain a database of individuals with the authority to expend funds on behalf of charter schools.

A favorable vote today and the bill will head to Regulatory Reform.

You can read more about SEGS’ recent decision to voluntarily close its doors here.

One Comment


  1. Vicki Boyer

    April 20, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Seems as if NCGA needs to increase the budget for DPI.

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