Under the Dome

Changed control of charter schools headed to a vote

The state House is set Monday to vote on a bill that would shift administrative control of charter schools from the state Department of Public Instruction to the State Board of Education.

The State Board, which is majority Republican, would appoint the office executive director. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Board Vice Chairman A.L. Collins and one other board member will be on the search committee.

The bill is a product of negotiations between the House and Senate. Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Archdale Republican and charter supporter, proposed the idea. He has been critical of the charter office in the past for how it has handled applications.

The head of the charter office would no longer be a member of DPI’s staff, reporting to State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, a Democrat.

The charter school office has an interim director; the former director left earlier this year to run one of the state’s new online charter schools.

The State Board already has the responsibility for approving and revoking charters, based on the recommendations of the Charter Schools Advisory Board.