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Terry Stoops turns to advising Superintendent Catherine Truitt after Charter School Advisory Board resignation

Terry Stoops

On Tuesday, conservative columnist and former John Locke Foundation education studies director Terry Stoops announced his resignation from the Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB).

Stoop’s resignation comes on the heels of his announcement last month that he was leaving the John Locke Foundation to accept a new post with the NC Department of Public Instruction to become an advisor to State Superintendent Catherine Truitt, a Republican. He was appointed to a four-year CSAB term in 2021 by Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, also a Republican.

A fierce school choice advocate who co-founded Carolina Charter Academy in Angier with his wife Jaime Stoops, the school’s director, Terry Stoops told CSAB colleagues that only someone of Truitt’s stature could have pried him from the conservative think tank where he’d spent nearly two decades advocating for school choice, charter schools and other education policies favored by state conservatives.

State Superintendent Catherine Truitt

He said the superintendent is committed to public school choice, and charter schools and speaks the same language as CSAB members and his wife Jaime Stoops.

“I just found it irresistible to come and work for Superintendent [Catherine] Truitt,” Stoops said.

Stoop’s appointment set off alarms in state Democratic quarters, with many progressives noting the irony of Truitt hiring someone entrenched in the school choice and school privatization movement to advise the superintendent on public school matters.

Here’s what Justin Parmenter, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher and education policy analyst, wrote on his Facebook page last month about Stoop’s appointment:

“I have so many questions … First one is what is this ? qualified to advise on? He spent one year teaching in public schools more than 20 years ago. For the last 17 years his John Locke Foundation job has been trashing public schools and trying to drive people to charters. He doesn’t belong anywhere near DPI.”

Policy Watch has requested a copy of Stoop’s employment contract to better understand his duties as an advisor to the superintendent.

The North Carolina Democratic Party also warned public school advocates about the appointment on its web page:

“Reports that North Carolina Superintendent Catherine Truitt has tapped Terry Stoops as an advisor should be cause for concern for anyone who cares about the future of North Carolina’s public schools.”

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Terry Stoops turns to advising Superintendent Catherine Truitt after Charter School Advisory Board resignation