More on Senate Bill 8 – Talking points


(***Parents:  Our state representative is  Roger West. Representative Roger West can be reached at (919)733-5859 or by email at Roger.West@ncleg.net ***)

8 Myths of Senate Bill 8

Talking Points

Myth # 1 “Charters are way to racially segregate public schools.”

  1. Law requires open enrollment, bars discrimination; lottery used in case of over-subscription

  2. Charter Act specifically designed to target at risk students

  3. 31 charters over 60% minority; of these, 30 meet state growth and proficiency standards

  4. 247 district schools with over 90% minorities enrolled and 11 historically black colleges in NC

Myth # 2 “Charters are underperforming and we do not need more”.

  1. In North Carolina, 52.2% are Schools of Distinction or Honor Schools of Excellence v. 38% district

  2. In North Carolina, 76.8% of charters made AYP v. 57.8% district

  3. Studies of charter success: Stanford’s Caroline Hoxby, Florida State’s Tim Hass, and Harvard’s Tom Kane

  4. Parents compare their choices: local charter versus local district school; less interested in national studies

Myth # 3 “Charters take money away from public schools”.

  1. Charters are public schools.

  2. Ball State study said average 400 child charter gets $365,000 less than district school

  3. Charters don’t get buildings so local taxpayers save money

  4. Bill allows charters to share only in a new and limited definition of the “General Fund” of school districts

Myth # 4: “Charters must have cafeterias and bus service to be fair to every child.”

  1. 39 charters provide transportation service; others devise parent carpooling and other transportation plans

  2. Several charters have children from up to 9 counties versus the compact attendance zones districts have

  3. Bill mandates that lack of meals or transportation cannot be a barrier to attendance for students

  4. First priority in a charter school is quality education and by necessity they may forego other services

  5. Best option is to expand charters so they are closer to where the family lives in the first place

Myth # 5: “New charter legislation will create an unneeded and unconstitutional commission.”

  1. Need a dedicated and charter-knowledgeable body to oversee the charters; state board duties too broad

  2. Charters in states with separate charter oversight bodies have fared better

  3. Charters more accountable if outcomes attributed to one body

  4. Volunteer board; costs negligible

Myth # 6: “Charters are not accountable to anyone.”

  1. Actually have more oversight, including, most importantly, parent oversight by their choice of the school

  2. Subject to all the state testing requirements, constantly monitored by the state, and have CPA audits

  3. State standardized student and financial reporting, NC Wise and ISIS, school’s independent board of directors

Myth # 7: “Charters do not serve children with disabilities and at risk youth.”

  1. Law requires the same standards for charters as district schools

Myth # 8: “Charters want to take even more money from district schools in the new bill”.

  1. LEAs supposed to share funds in their “Current Expense Fund” with charters but did not do so for years

  2. LEAs got caught in the “Sugar Creek” law cases and had to pay back the money kept from charters

  3. 2010 Legislature buried in Budget provision to allow LEAs to continue to retain certain funds from charters

  4. SB 8 earlier version corrected this but last version allows districts to keep many funds from  charters

Jim Stegall, Lobbyist for the North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools   704-221-1958