Despite recent calls for a moratorium on new charter schools, the State Board of Education (SBE) will be asked to approve 12 new ones when the board meets this week for its monthly business meeting.
The 12 applicants have already been approved by the Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB). They were selected from among 35 applicants.
If all 12 are approved by the SBE, the number of charters in the state would climb to 196 including two online charters that are headquartered in Durham.
Nearly 110,000 students across the state attend charters, which is approximately 7.3 percent of the 1.5 million children who attend charters and traditional public schools.
The number of charters exploded after the Republican-led General Assembly lifted the state’s 100-school cap in 2011.
Critics contend charters siphon students and resources from traditional public schools and contribute to the re-segregation of North Carolina schools.
In March, State Sen. Dan Blue, (D-Wake County) called for a “recess” from granting charters until a joint legislative committee he wants to create can study their impacts on traditional public schools.
Blue is a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 247, which would establish the joint legislative study committee and place a moratorium on charter growth.
SB 247 was referred to the body’s Committee On Rules and Operations of Senate on March 14. Because it didn’t cross over to the House, the bill is essentially dead through 2020.
Public Schools First NC has also called for a camp cap on charters while the state exams student performance, fiscal management and how charter impact students, traditional public schools and taxpayers.
Five of the 12 applicants are for new charters in Wake County. The five schools are: Wake Preparatory Academy; CE Academy, North Raleigh Charter Academy; Wendell Falls Charter Academy and Doral Academy.
The other seven are Wilmington School of the Arts in New Hanover County; MINA Charter School of Lee County; Revolution Academy in Guilford County; Elaine Riddick in Perquimans County; Robert J. Brown Leadership Academy in Guilford County; Achievement Academy in Harnett County and Alamance County School.