Education Funding

N.C. House Gives Initial OK to School Reform Bill

By The Associated Press — May 26, 2010 2 min read

Facing a deadline next week for the state to apply for up to $400 million in federal grants, the state House gave initial approval Tuesday to legislation sought by Gov. Beverly Perdue laying out options for local education leaders to improve low-performing schools.

The House voted 68-45 in favor of legislation adopting federal guidelines by allowing the State Board of Education to give school districts four ways to retool more than 130 public schools where less than half of the students met expectations in standardized tests two of the past three years.

The biggest change would allow districts to “restart” a typical school by giving it the same flexibility as a charter school without making it independent from the district. Charter schools are exempt from many rules of most public schools and can test innovative learning techniques or focus more on children at risk of failure.

The bill, which could receive final approval Wednesday, wouldn’t lift the state’s cap of 100 charter schools that’s been in place since 1996. Lawmakers have been nervous about raising or eliminating the cap on the traditional charter schools, which also are run by private boards.

The measure instead would offer the ability to create “charter-like” schools, in addition to other methods to help continually low-performing schools. The other three are increasing learning time and improving teacher performance; removing the principal and many teachers; and simply closing the school.

“What this does is give multiple options for reform,” said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, the bill’s chief proponent in the House. “There are more reforms out there than the charter model.”

Perdue sought the change by June 1 — that’s when her administration has to file an application to seek the second round of “Race to the Top” federal education reform grants. North Carolina finished well out of the money for the first round of applications in March. The state didn’t score well when it came to charter schools and other innovative schools.

Several Republican House members criticized the proposal as simply window-dressing to impress the judges in the U.S. Department of Education competition. They said school districts already had the ability to rework schools using the other three options beside the charter-like method. The charter-like schools wouldn’t count toward the cap of 100.

“It’s a fig leaf,” said Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake. “It’s not really reform.”

Boosters of charter schools held a news conference to argue the proposal won’t do enough to help the state’s next Race to the Top application because it doesn’t lift the 100-charter cap. The House approved a separate bill last year to raise the cap 106 but it’s languished in the Senate ever since.

Darrell Allison, president for Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, a pro-charter school group, said while the bill approved Tuesday isn’t awful, it fails to get at the root problem that about 18,000 children are on waiting lists for traditional charter schools.

“North Carolina is once again positioning itself to forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars due to its inaction in moving strong on public charter school policy this legislative short session,” Allison said.

Perdue said the bill isn’t necessary for the application, but it will “strengthen North Carolina’s case for making all schools successful and making sure all students receive a quality education,” Perdue spokesman Tim Crowley said.

Related Tags:

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding There Are Big Funding Gaps Affecting High-Poverty Schools. Can Biden Close Them?
Hurdles lie ahead for a $20 billion bid to create "Title I equity grants" to address long-standing funding inequities.
9 min read
President Joe Biden talks about the May jobs report from the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Friday, June 4, 2021.
President Joe Biden made boosting Title I for disadvantaged students a key part of his education platform on the campaign trail.
Susan Walsh/AP
Education Funding Education Department Issues Directive on Shielding Students in Poverty From Funding Cuts
The agency released the "maintenance of equity" guidance on COVID-19 relief as part of a public-relations blitz on equity amid the pandemic.
5 min read
Image of a $100 dollar bill that is cut into blocks for distribution.
E+/Getty
Education Funding New COVID-19 Aid Coalition Highlights Strategies for Retaining Teachers, Digital Learning
The coalition representing school officials, teachers' unions, and others, has pledged a multiyear effort to use relief aid effectively.
2 min read
Mary Euell helps her sons, Michael Henry, left, and Mario Henry, work through math lessons remotely in their Erie, Pa., home.
Mary Euell helps her sons, Michael Henry, left, and Mario Henry, work through math lessons remotely in their Erie, Pa., home.
Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP
Education Funding From Our Research Center Nation Earns a 'C' on School Finance, Reflecting Inconsistency in K-12 Funding and Equity
The Edweek Research Center's latest analysis finds a gulf in many states between per-pupil spending and how that K-12 money goes out.
6 min read
Illustration of C letter grade
Getty