The NCGA Is Using The Pandemic To Favor Charters Over Traditional Public Schools

Remember that charter schools in North Carolina receive monies from local school systems where they reside, but local school boards have no jurisdiction over charters in their districts.

Doesn’t seem fair.

That preferential treatment by the NCGA has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Doesn’t include charters.

Today, this bill was filed.

Doesn’t include charters.

And remember this from last summer?

The Network for Public Education released a state-by-state list of charter schools that received Paycheck Protection Program loans in July of 2020.

This is the list of NC schools.

Almost 50 of the 184 charter schools in North Carolina received loans.

From the July 19th edition of the Asheville Citizen Times:

Charter schools occupy a blurry space between public schools and small businesses. They are free to attend and funded like traditional districts, with public money given for every student. Yet, charters are managed independently, autonomous from the traditional school district in which they reside.

In North Carolina, charter schools typically receive less local funding than their district counterparts, though unlike traditional public schools, charters aren’t obligated to provide students with transportation or free meals.

Last year, there were close to 200 charter schools in the state.

In addition to PPP loans, many charters received federal CARES Act funds. For example, Sugar Creek Charter School in Charlotte reportedly received a PPP loan between $2 million to $5 million while also getting $438,000 in federal CARES Act money.

In contrast, school districts only collected CARES Act relief.

“Our public schools are being thrown to the wolves,” said Renee Sekel, founder of the parent-run public education advocacy group Save our Schools NC. Sekel accused charters of “double-dipping” by acquiring both businesses loans and public school funds.

And this state still has no new budget.