State charter school board to consider virtual charter report; application process Thursday

charterschools-300x202North Carolina’s Charter School Advisory Board, which makes pivotal recommendations to the State Board of Education, is expected to consider a slate of items Thursday that includes a report on a virtual charter pilot program and the ever-bustling application process for new charter openings.

Since North Carolina lifted the 100-school cap on charters in 2011, the state has seen a rapid influx of new schools in recent years, and 2016 is no exception. However, the numbers of schools cleared for opening, as we reported in August, has slowed somewhat.

According to the state, 38 prospective charters have applied for opening in the 2018-2019 academic year, with hopefuls applying in the usual places—Wake County is a hotspot again—as well as in rural counties such as Moore.

Notable applicants include Ronald Reagan Academy, which aims, according to its application, to improve the “dire situation” of lagging public schools in low-income Robeson County.

According to its agenda, the charter board is also set to take up a report on North Carolina’s pilot virtual charters, which have been mired in controversy this year over reports of high withdrawal rates.

The board will meet beginning at 9 a.m. in the Department of Public Instruction’s headquarters at 301 N. Wilmington St. in downtown Raleigh.

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