NC education board approves 26 new charter schools

From staff reportsSeptember 5, 2013 

— The State Board of Education gave preliminary approval Thursday for 26 new charter schools to open in 2014.

Six Triangle-area schools received approval, with four from Wake County: Cardinal Charter, Dynamic Community Charter, Envision Science Academy and Wake Forest Academy. Approval was also given to Anderson Creek Club Charter in Harnett County and Reaching All Minds Academy in Durham.

Other schools approved Thursday include nine in Mecklenburg County, and Providence Charter High School in Rockingham County, applied for by Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., the son of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.

The new schools will spend the next year planning for their openings. The State Board will give final approval to the schools by January.

Charter schools are public schools that are exempt from some of the regulations that traditional public schools must follow. They are also independent of the school districts in which they’re located.

The number of charter schools has expanded sharply since legislators eliminated the 100-school cap in 2011. If all 26 new schools open in 2014, it would bring the number of North Carolina charter schools to 155, with 25 in Mecklenburg and 19 in Wake.

In March, the State Office of Charter Schools received 70 applications. The now-disbanded Public Charter School Advisory Council interviewed 32 applicants but only recommended the 26 that were approved Thursday.

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