North Carolina's school board could increase the number of charter schools in the state by a third within the next year if it accepts a screening committee's recommendations.
The State Board of Education is considering whether to allow the opening of another 25 charter schools in August 2013 in addition to the eight new ones cleared earlier this year to accept new students beginning next month. The school board discusses the rapid expansion of charter schools today and could make a decision next month.
Charters are public schools allowed to operate with fewer of the regulations facing traditional schools. Until state law was changed last year, they were limited to 100 statewide since the first was established in the mid-1990s.
Sixty-three groups applied in the latest round to open charter schools starting next year. The state's education department and outside advisors reviewed which groups were financially and organizationally prepared to operate with taxpayer money.
The 25 proposals that made the cut are spread across 17 counties. Five of the new schools will be in Mecklenburg County, which, starting this fall, will already have 12 charter schools.