Wake Ed

NC bill would help Raleigh special-needs charter school

State lawmakers may be able to help bail out a financially troubled Raleigh charter school that’s the only one in North Carolina focused on serving students with disabilities.

House Bill 468 filed Wednesday would establish a three-year special education pilot charter school program that would funnel additional money to help keep Dynamic Charter School in Raleigh running. If approved, the bill would provide the school $2,000 per student for up to 100 students annually.

Dynamic isn’t mentioned by name in the bill. But it appears to be the only school that could potentially meet the qualifications for being enrolled in the pilot program.

The bill says that the State Board of Education shall select one charter school located within Wake County that has been approved by the State Board for the enrollment of students beginning with the 2014‑2015 school year to provide the educational services and programming for the Pilot Program. The bill says the charter school's enrollment shall include 80 percent or more of students with disabilities.

But the bill, which was referred Thursday to the House Education Committee, appears to need a big change before Dynamic could be chosen. The bill says that the charter school, its affiliated charter management organization, or its education management organization must be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Officials at Dynamic say that they’re not accredited by SACS or run by a management organization.

The bill’s primary sponsors include two Wake County Republicans: Rep. Gary Pendleton of Raleigh and Rep. Paul Stam of Apex.

As noted in today’s online article by Sarah Barr, families at Dynamic have rallied around the school as the State Board of Education has taken steps to begin revoking the school’s charter because of funding and other issues.

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