North Carolina Family Policy Council
On Thursday, the North Carolina Senate approved SB 8—No Cap on Number of Charter Schools, a bill that would eliminate the cap on the number of charter schools in the state. After hearing nearly an hour and a half of intense debate on the bill’s 2nd reading in Wednesday’s session, the measure gained final passage in the Senate on Thursday afternoon, by a vote of 33-17.
In addition to lifting the cap, which state law currently sets at 100 schools, the bill would also set up a new, independent commission to have administrative oversight over charters. Although the Commission would be separate from the State Board of Education (SBE), the SBE would retain some authority by having the ability to overrule actions of the Commission with a three-fourths vote. The bill also seeks to provide equitable funding to traditional public schools and charter schools by allowing county and lottery funds to be available for charter schools.
Six amendments were proposed during debate, but only two amendments were adopted—an amendment clarifying a change by the bill sponsor, Sen. Richard Stevens (R–Wake), and an amendment by Sen. Floyd McKissick (D-Durham), which would require the independent charter commission to submit an annual report and composite data to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. SB 8 now heads to the House for consideration there.
This story was used by permission of the North Carolina Family Policy Council