Amy Lee: Charter abuse

January 11, 2014 

Your Jan. 6 news article “Charter expansion on agenda” served as a wake-up call to all North Carolinians who care about public education.

Charter schools were meant to be a source of innovation to be modeled in traditional public schools, not a competitor of traditional public schools. Their role in North Carolina is being perverted by the General Assembly into another free market model in the name of “choice.”

With careful oversight, accountability and limit in number, charters can be advantageous to communities. But this is not the motivation of many charter school proponents. Financial gain is a huge motivator, and charters are a ripe market for those wanting to line their pockets on the backs of our students. Hedge fund managers are investing in the charter movement to make money.

Baker Mitchell, member of the Charter Schools Advisory Board, is a perfect example of a fox in the hen house. His companies received over $3 million in management fees and rent from two charter schools in Eastern N.C. during the 2009-10 fiscal year. How convenient that he sits on the very board charged with approving new charters in a state ripe for the market.

Amy Lee

Raleigh

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