So, Is This For-Profit Charter Chain Leaving North Carolina? Then, Good!

As reported to today by the News & Observer,

An organization that helped set up charter schools in North Carolina and Arizona has lost several of its leaders and cut back on its work, leading two N.C. schools to drop the organization’s services.

Now, those schools — which represent about 11,000 students — are wondering what to do next.

The turnover at TeamCFA has created uncertainty around the Charlotte-based nonprofit that provides financial, instructional and management support to 17 charter schools in North Carolina and four schools in Arizona.

That report also mentioned its TeamCFA’s founder, John Bryan. If you have forgotten who this man is then be remembered.

TeamCFA was launched by retired Oregon businessman John Bryan, who has used his wealth to promote school-choice causes and to give generously to Republican political candidates and GOP-run political action committees. He helped pass the law creating the Innovative School District, which allows low-performing schools to be turned over to outside groups, such as charter school operators.


Team CFA is based in Oregon. John Bryan, the founder of the Team CFA, has donated money left and right to specific politicians and PACs here in North Carolina to extend the charter industry including Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (through a PAC). He spear-headed the effort to win the contract of the ISD school in Robeson.

You might want to see who all has received political contributions from John Bryan. All one has to do is look at

Among the other North Carolinians John Bryan has donated to include:

  • Chad Barefoot
  • Phil Berger
  • Tim Moore
  • Ralph Hise
  • Jason Saine
  • David Curtis
  • Jerry Tillman

That’s quite the list of privatizers.

Southside-Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County still is the only school in the new Innovative School District and is run by a for-profit charter school company – Achievement for All Children.

It’s first year under TeamCFA did not go well.

Achievement For All Children was among the groups who applied for state approval to run struggling schools that will be chosen for the Innovative School District. Achievement For All Children is heavily connected to Oregon resident John Bryan, who is a generous contributor to political campaigns and school-choice causes in North Carolina.

Those political contributions to Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who is advertising his own run at the governor’s mansion seem to point to some rather seedy underpinnings. And it’s no secret that Forest loves charter schools. That is well known among public school advocates.

Back to today’s report:

But over the last several months, much of the leadership of TeamCFA left the organization.

Tony Helton, who had been chief executive officer of both TeamCFA and Achievement For All Children, resigned both positions and started a new education consulting firm. Helton did not return The News & Observer’s telephone call and Facebook message requesting comment.

So, what’s happening?

A win for public school advocates.

And maybe no more John Bryan money in NC elections?