As many as 170 new charter schools could open in North Carolina in 2015, including 39 in the Triangle and 43 in Mecklenburg County.
State education officials said those groups met the deadline last Friday to submit letters of intent to be considered for opening in August 2015. Depending on how many meet a Dec. 6 deadline to submit an application, the state’s lineup of 130 charter schools could be in for a huge expansion.
“We welcome the growth of high quality charter schools in North Carolina as they offer a valuable option to help meet the academic needs of our 1.5 million public school students,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said in a statement Monday. “Our public charter schools have helped to increase our graduation rate to the highest in state history and we look forward to working with these applicants as they formalize their plans to open new schools in 2015.”
Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools that are exempt from some of the regulations that traditional public schools must follow. They are also independent of the school districts in which they’re located.