Two members of the state’s advisory board for charter schools unexpectedly submitted their resignations yesterday.
Both Baker Mitchell, of Wilmington, and Paul Norcross, of High Point, co-founded charter schools and have been some of the more prominent advocates through the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools for the privately-run but publicly-funded schools. They also both own companies that have contracts to run public charter schools in the state.
State Sen. Phil Berger appointed Sherry Reeves of Pamlico County to fill the unexpired term of Baker Mitchell. Reeves served on the board of Arapahoe Charter School in 2011-12. Berger appointed Phyllis Gibbs of Guilford County to fill the unexpired term of Paul Norcross.
The state Senate approved those replacements today. The charter school advisory board reviews applications for charter schools and makes recommendations about approvals and rules governing the schools to the State Board of Education.
Mitchell and Norcross had been the target of recent ethics complaints, though no violations of state ethics law have been substantiated.
This spring, Eddie Goodall of the N.C. Association of Charter School’s filed complaints with the N.C. Ethics Commission against the two. Goodall’s complaint takes issue with Norcross and Mitchell not recusing themselves from a May charter school advisory vote to approve a school that’s a member of the alliance organization that Mitchell and Norcross have affiliations with.
Mitchell and Norcross submitted their resignations to Sen. Phil Berger within an hour of each other Wednesday afternoon, according to copies of their resignation letters obtained by N.C. Policy Watch.