Tuesday, February 8, 2011

North Carolina Republicans Work to Remake Charter School System

Republicans in the North Carolina Senate are working on legislation that would drastically change the way that charter schools operate. During the 2010 campaign season, Republican candidates promised to eliminate the existing cap on charter schools, which is currently set at 100. But the legislative measures pending in the Senate go beyond those promises.

For starters, Republicans want to change the state’s charter school law by creating a new state oversight board to oversee charter schools. This board would operate independently from the State Board of Education and the NC Department of Public Instruction. The measures would also increase public funding for charter schools and reduce current regulations, such as eliminating limits on how fast charter schools can grow enrollment.

These measures represent a positive shift in education policy in our State’s Capital. It is clear that our education system has room to improve, but expanding the role of government is not the answer. Supporting charter schools, on the other hand, will help to make education less bureaucratic and will give more flexibility to parents and teachers.