Lunch is in the classroom instead of a cafeteria, and students rely on public transportation rather than school buses to get to Longleaf School of the Arts in downtown Raleigh. But you won’t hear students complain.
The 197 Longleaf students put up with some inconveniences for the payoff of a fine arts program that lets them specialize in dance, music, theater or the visual arts. Instead of paying tuition for a private school, they’re going for free to one of the state’s newest charter schools. At Longleaf, they can pursue their artistic ambitions while working on a high school diploma.
“This school is amazing,” said Leilani Carr, 14, a freshman at Longleaf who hopes to perform on Broadway. “This lets me have time during the school day for performing arts.”
As charter schools continue to grow in North Carolina, they’ve become part of the debate in Wake County about next month’s referendum on $810 million in school construction bonds.