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2023 Legislative Agenda

The NC Association for Public Charter Schools is committed to being a voice for charter schools across the state. Each year we create a legislative agenda in preparation for the upcoming session of the General Assembly and share it with the charter school sector and the public. With the support of our school membership, legislative committee, and lobbying team, we build relationships with legislators and key stakeholders and educate them on current issues and challenges faced by charter schools. Our goal is to achieve equitable state policy for North Carolina’s charter schools.


Authorize Counties to Provide Capital Funding to Charter Schools


Under current law counties are not eligible to provide capital funding to charter schools. The funds would be used for purposes such as technology, furnishings, and equipment. This will be optional for counties to participate.


In 2020, Person County had available funds to purchase technology for students. Under current law the county could only provide funds to traditional schools. If they law were changed, the county would have the authority to provide eligible funds to the charter if they felt necessary.


Uniform Criminal Background Checks for Charters


Under current law G.S. 115C-296 does not provide the State Board of Education authority to require applicants of charter schools to be checked for a criminal history. The bill would require the following:

  • Checks against the State and National Repositories of Criminal Histories for initial charter school boards of directors.
  • Checks against the State and National Repositories of Criminal Histories for licensure by the State Board of Education.
  • Require criminal history checks by local boards of education, regional boards of directors, charter boards of directors, and chancellors of laboratory schools before employment.


Many of NC charter schools face issues when they attempt to do background checks that mirror the current district process, resulting in faulty results. It was recently reported that an individual who was serving on a applicant charter school’s board was just released from federal prison unbeknownst to the charter. Pursuing uniformity in background checks for boards and staff would relieve the stress many schools face.


NCDOT Timely Reimbursement to Charter Schools


Under current law charter schools have no logical process by which schools can be reimbursed for expenses incurred at the department’s request.


The DOT is required by law to reimburse schools for any roadway improvements it requires. These requirements often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, which charter schools must finance through their operating budgets. However, once schools request reimbursements, they are left uninformed about when they can expect those funds to be reimbursed. The delay in receiving reimbursement impedes pursuing educational programming which would be beneficial to students. A legislated timeline for reimbursement would assist schools in financial planning.


Charter Schools Facilities Funding


Currently, charter schools receive no funding for facilities. Finding the money to pay for a facility can be quite cumbersome. Lack of an effective and attractive educational facility can prove to be an impediment to student enrollment and the school’s success.


Often a charter school needs to finance the entire cost of a project. They may approach a commercial bank for a senior loan but that senior loan won't pay for the entire cost of the project. The bank often requires the school to come up with some portion of the project costs, much like a home mortgage requires a 20% down payment. A charter school in its early years doesn't have a down payment and will need to take out a secondary loan from another source.

Did You Know?

  • Authorized by the State Board of Education, Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools of choice that are operated by independent non-profit boards of directors.
  • There are 206 public charter schools in the state, educating approximately 130,000 students this year, including just over 14,000 NEW students enrolled in charter schools between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. Charter Schools are held to the same accountability standards as district schools.
  • The North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools (NCAPCS) is the leading Charter School membership organization in the state. NCAPCS is dedicated to advancing quality educational opportunities for all children in North Carolina by supporting and expanding successful Charter Schools. NCAPCS serves as an advocate on behalf of all North Carolina public Charter Schools in addition to providing a broad spectrum of technical support, mentoring, training, networking, and purchasing services to its membership.


For more information, contact Rhonda Dillingham, Executive Director, (336) 669-9996 or email [email protected]