Under the Dome

Controversial bill on state school takeover heads to NC governor

The state House gave final approval to a controversial bill triggering a state takeover of five low-performing schools.

The vote was 67-39. The bill goes to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature.

Five struggling schools from around the state would be part of the Achievement School District. A superintendent the State Board of Education hires would oversee the district and choose charter operators to run the schools for up to eight years. Transfers to the new achievement district could begin in 2017-18.

Rep. Rob Bryan, a Charlotte Republican, wants the state to try a new approach to improving student proficiency in schools that struggle year after year.

Districts that have their schools chosen for the achievement district would be able to run three local schools with the same flexibility given charter schools, a concept called iZones, or innovation zones.

The bill’s opponents don’t want to force local districts to hand over schools to charter companies, particularly for an experiment that has not worked well in neighboring Tennessee.

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner