Under the Dome

2 NC charter schools cut ties with embattled management company

Two North Carolina charter schools in danger of not getting approval to open in 2016 are cutting their ties to a management company which has schools in Florida being investigated for allegations of grade tampering.

The questions surrounding Newpoint Education Partners caused the State Board of Education earlier this month to refer Pine Springs Preparatory Academy in Wake County and Cape Fear Preparatory Academy in New Hanover County to an advisory board for further review. Both schools have since submitted letters announcing they’re severing relations with Newpoint, according to Adam Levinson, interim head of the state Office of Charter Schools.

Levinson said Helen Nance, chairwoman of the Charter School Advisory Board, has created a subcommittee to review the revised applications both schools will submit. The advisory board will vote in July whether to recommend the schools to the state Board.

On June 4, the state Board also referred Capital City Charter High School in Wake County and Unity Classical Charter School in Mecklenburg County to the advisory board, but for different reasons than Pine Springs and Cape Fear.

Levinson said Capital City withdrew its application. But he said the advisory board, after reviewing Unity’s budget information, recommended Tuesday that the school get approval to open in 2016. The state Board will consider the recommendation in August.

Charter schools receive tax money but are exempt from some regulations traditional public schools must follow. There are 146 open now in North Carolina, with 15 more slated to open in August. The State Board gave initial approval this month for 12 new charter schools to open in 2016.