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State Board Of Education Greenlights Eight New Charter Schools

a nationwide collaboration between NPR’s Ed Team and 20 member station reporters exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.
Leigh Ann Cross

State Board of Education members voted Thursday to approve eight new charter schools.

The schools got the green light, but they will still have to meet a number of requirements by next summer before being allowed to open for the 2017-2018 school year. Those requirements include hiring staff, finding a facility, recruiting board members and drafting policies.

Six of the schools will be located in or near the Triangle or Mecklenburg County. One will be located in Forsyth County, and one in Bladen County. North Carolina has 167 existing charter schools.

The newly approved schools and details are listed below:

Discovery Charter School will serve grades 6-8 in Durham County. Its board is led by Carl Forsyth, who was the founding principal of Voyager Academy Charter School in Durham.

Johnston Charter Academy will serve grades K-6 in Johnston County, and expand to K-8 by 2020. It will be operated by a for-profit charter school management company out of Michigan called National Heritage Academies (NHA). NHA already operates 11 charter schools across the state.

Montcross Charter Academy will open serving grades K-6 in Gaston County and eventually expand to teach K-8. It will be operated by Florida-based Charter Schools USA, a for-profit company that currently runs six other North Carolina charter schools.

Movement School will open serving grades K-2 in Mecklenburg County and eventually expand to K-6. This school is led by Garrett McNeil, who also serves on the board of Sugar Creek Charter School. Movement School seeks to replicate Sugar Creek.

Rolesville Charter Academy will open serving grades K-6 in Wake County and expand to K-8. It's also run by NHA.

UpROAR Leadership Academy will open serving grades 5-8 in Mecklenburg County with a focus on "military tradition." It plans to eventually serve grades 5-12. UpROAR's board is led by Genesia Newsome, founder of the Charlotte based New Way Foundation.

Emereau: Bladen will open serving students in grades K-6 in Bladen County. Emereau's board applied to open five new schools in the same year. Bladen was the only location the state board approved. It plans to eventually serve grades K-12.

Twin City High School will serve former high school dropouts in Forsyth County. Twin City is run by Florida-based Accelerated Learning Solutions. ALS  already operates three similar schools, which the state allowed ALS to open as part of a dropout pilot program.

Editor's Note: The on-air version of this story incorrectly stated the board approved seven charter schools to open in 2017.

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