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Press release from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, shared Sept. 9:
Interested nonprofit organizations have submitted 170 letters of intent to apply to open a public charter school in August 2015.
The letters were delivered to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction by noon on Sept. 6 and signal that the groups plan to submit a charter proposal to the NCDPI’s Office of Charter Schools by 5 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2013.
More information about the organizations that submitted a letter of intent is available on the Office of Charter Schools website at www.ncpublicschools.org/charterschools/.
“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,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson. “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.”
The letters of intent are one component utilized to promote the growth of high quality charter schools across the state. Several other states also require letters of intent, which have resulted in stronger applications thus generating fully functional boards, academic excellence, and fiscal accountability – all hallmarks of high-quality charter schools. If a group failed to submit a letter of intent by the Sept. 6 deadline, they can submit one by the first Friday of September in 2014 so that they can participate in the application cycle for schools that will open in August 2016.
The Office of Charter Schools has already provided training to interested groups in August and has planned additional trainings for groups that submitted letters of intent. Those training sessions will be held at the Department of Public Instruction on Sept. 12 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sept. 13 (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.). Groups also can register for training at the following link: www.ncpublicschools.org/charterschools/training/application.
There are currently 130 public charter schools open in North Carolina that could serve as many as 65,000 students this school year. An additional 26 schools have received preliminary approval to enter the planning phase and will go before the State Board of Education for approval no later than Jan. 15, 2014.