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Update: Public Schools competing with non-traditional schools for students

By Erin Smith

North Carolina’s public school system is feeling strong competition for students from Charter Schools and private schools. Bladen County Schools are no different with the opening of Emereau:Bladen Charter School in August. There are distinct differences between Charter Schools and traditional public schools with regards to teachers and curriculum. To learn more, click here. reached out to Emereau:Bladen with a request for information regarding employment requirements, curriculum and funding for the new Charter School.

Kate Alice Dunaway, with Emereau:Bladen, said the Charter School will meet or exceed the requirements as provided in State law with regards to employment and curriculum.

115C-218.90.  Employment requirements.

(a)        Employees. –

(1)An employee of a charter school is not an employee of the local school administrative unit in which the charter school is located. The charter school’s board of directors shall employ and contract with necessary teachers to perform the particular service for which they are employed in the school; at least fifty percent (50%) of these teachers shall hold teacher licenses. All teachers who are teaching in the core subject areas of mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts shall be college graduates.

“Currently, all of our educators meet the NC licensure requirement and several hold advanced degrees and National Board Certification,” said Kate Alice Dunaway with Emereau:Bladen.

Dunaway said Emereau: Bladen will follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study as adopted and available on the NCDPI website.  Additional information regarding the Course of Study and Testing/Accountability requirements may be found in 115C-218.85 Course of study requirements.

With regards to funding, Dunaway said North Carolina charter schools receive their funding based on their student enrollment following the ADM (Average Daily Membership) calculation (via PowerSchool) from the first twenty (20) days of enrollment.  The total number of students (based on the ADM) is multiplied by the State Allotment which equals the amount of state funding charter schools receive for the year in three equal allotments in August, November, and March.  Local funds are based on the number of students residing in an LEA.  Some charter schools have students from multiple LEA’s and therefore, receive different amounts depending on the specific local supplement for the LEA (Local Education Agency). The local supplements vary throughout the state from less than $1000.00 per child for the year to over $3,500.00 per child for the year.  Schools also receive some federal funding for Exceptional Children’s Services and this varies by school and the number of students receiving these services.

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