Citing feelings that “DPI was never in love with charter schools,” last month Senator Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) gutted a House bill penned by Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg) and used it to put forth his own bid to move the Office of Charter Schools out of the Department of Public Instruction and to the State Board of Education.
The House’s reaction to that chess move? A resounding ‘no.’
Rep. Jeter asked his fellow House members Tuesday not to concur with the Senate’s proposal—and they voted unanimously against concurrence, sending the bill to a conference committee to sort through the disagreement.
Tillman, who has previously expressed frustration over what he sees as too slow a pace to green light new charter schools, proposed not only moving the charter school office out of DPI, he also sought to tinker yet again with the advisory board that reviews new charter school proposals. Tillman’s version of HB 334 would strip the Governor of his ability to appoint the board’s chair and disallow a sitting State Board of Ed member from being part of the panel.
“We don’t want them ‘loving it up,’” said Tillman of the idea of current State Board of Education members serving on the charter advisory board. His proposal would relegate that person to serving as a nonvoting member and allow the State Board to instead appoint a “charter advocate” to serve.
Sen. Josh Stein (D-Wake) objected to Tillman’s bid last month, raising concerns about the ability of the State Board of Education to exercise proper oversight and monitoring of charter schools.
For more background, read my story, “Senate bill proposes ending DPI control of charter school oversight.”