The State Board of Education renewed 29 charter schools on Thursday – including 11 in the Triangle – allowing the non-traditional public schools to stay open for as many as 10 more years.
In Wake County, the State Board gave the maximum possible renewal of 10 years to Sterling Montessori Academy in Morrisville and three Raleigh charter schools: Casa Esperanza Montessori, Magellan Charter School and The Exploris School. PreEminent Charter School in Raleigh only received a three-year renewal because of its test scores.
In Durham, The Central Park School for Children, Maureen Joy Charter School and Voyager Academy all received 10-year renewals. Voyager’s renewal is contingent upon no issues being found in an upcoming financial audit.
Also on Thursday, Eno River Academy in Hillsborough and Chatham Charter School in Siler City received 10-year renewals. Neuse Charter School in Smithfield received a seven-year renewal due to questions about its finances.
Charter schools are taxpayer funded schools that are exempt from some of the regulations that traditional public schools must follow. There are 167 charter schools open in North Carolina this school year.
Three schools still have charters that are set to expire June 30. The State Board is hoping an outside company will take over a struggling charter school in Charlotte and wants more time to decide on two other schools, including Kestrel Heights School in Durham.
The N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board recommended that Kestrel get a three-year renewal and lose its high school program because it gave unearned diplomas to 40 percent of its graduates over the past eight years.