News

State Board of Education weighs charter’s contract with former state legislator, charter advisor

Members of North Carolina’s State Board of Education are expected to discuss in open session Thursday one Charlotte charter’s ethically knotty contract with a new charter management organization led by a former state charter advisor, a former state lawmaker and a longtime school choice advocate.

As noted in a Charlotte Observer report in August, the group Achievement for All Children (AAC) is seeking a contract to run Aristotle Preparatory Academy, a K-5 charter that has struggled in its first years of operation.

According to its state report card, the school reported a “D” performance grade in 2016-2017, although it’s worth noting roughly 95 percent of the school’s students are considered “economically disadvantaged,” a population that tends to struggle academically.

Tony Helton

But the contract has spurred questions about Achievement for All Children’s close ties to state officials. Its leadership includes Tony Helton, CEO of the growing TeamCFA network and, until October, a member of the Charter School Advisory Board, a panel that counsels the state board on charter policy and applications.

Helton was still a member of the charter advisory board when AAC moved to ink a contract with Aristotle Prep this year, which already has a relationship with TeamCFA. And, according to The Observer, no other company was invited to bid for the role sought by AAC.

AAC’s leadership also includes former state Rep. Rob Bryan, a Charlotte school choice champion in the legislature until his defeat in last year’s election, as well as Darrell Allison, a member of the UNC Board of Governors who’s been a fixture in the state’s school choice movement in the last decade.

AAC, which formed this year, is also vying for a contract in the state’s controversial Innovative School District next year.

Board officials said they planned to talk over the contract in closed session Wednesday, but the matter would return for discussion Thursday.

Policy Watch will provide updates as they develop.

Check Also

UNC’s Silent Sam settlement, a bad deal executed very poorly

The Daily Tar Heel, a student-run newspaper, is ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday to honor and celebrate the life of the civil [...]

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a resolution Thursday that would overturn a Trump administration [...]

North Carolina is projected to gain a U.S. House seat in the coming years, recent data show — a chan [...]

New facilities and policies offer hope to 16 and 17 year-olds once consigned to the adult correction [...]

And just like that, another critical election year is upon us – maybe the most important election ye [...]

The post An apple for teacher. appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

There is a temptation—and believe me, I understand it—to celebrate the fleeting nature of this week’ [...]

The North Carolina General Assembly is back in Raleigh this week and, as noted in this space last Fr [...]