Over 90% of children who attend public charter schools aren’t receiving fair funding for their education. We asked school leaders from 10 public charter schools across the state to explain how this unfair funding model is affecting their schools. Watch these videos to see the challenges these schools face – as well as the successes they achieve – with such limited resources. Operating a public charter school requires a fierce commitment to delivering on the promise made to the families and students who chose a public charter school education – even when the school is being shortchanged several hundred thousand dollars.
Henderson Collegiate opened its doors in 2010 in rural Henderson and now serves almost 500 students in Grades 4-8. The school operates a fleet of buses and an extensive nutrition program to meet the needs of its mostly low-income student population. It’s the only public charter school in North Carolina to be recognized as a Title I Reward School.
Sugar Creek opened in Charlotte in 1999 and currently serves 1,166 students in Grades K-9. The school, whose motto is “Whatever it takes,” operates a 16-bus fleet and provides free breakfast and lunch to all students. It’s the second-highest performing public school in Mecklenburg County that serves a large population of minority students.
Research Triangle Park High School
Research Triangle Park High School, located in Durham County, opened in 2012 and currently serves 347 students in Grades 9-11. RTHS is a STEM-focused school that uses the flipped classroom approach to learning and provides college-prep courses. Research Triangle ranks as the second-highest performing Durham public high school in Math I, English II and Biology.
Community School of Davidson
Community School of Davidson opened in 2004 and serves 1,328 students in Grades K-12 on two campuses. The school offers small-class sizes and a full array of special needs services to assist its special needs students. CSD exceeded academic growth for five straight years and celebrated a 100% graduation rate with its first graduating class in 2014.
Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy opened in rural Mooresboro in 1999 and serves 1,303 students in Grades K-12 on two campuses. The school offers a high-quality college preparatory education and offers a robust sports program, drama, and orchestra. It’s the highest achieving public charter school in the state’s western region.
KIPP Gaston College Preparatory Public School (Northampton County)
KIPP Gaston College Preparatory Public School opened in 2001 and serves 1,043 students in Grades K-1, 5-12 in rural Northhampton County. Gaston Prep provides transportation and lunch to its mostly low-income students. Over 50% of the school’s first graduating classes have graduated college, five times the national average for low-income students.
Maureen Joy Charter School
Maureen Joy Charter School opened in Durham in 1997 and serves 553 students in Grades K-8. The school, one of the first public charters to open in NC, offers extended school hours to improve student learning and provides lunch and transportation to ensure it is accessible to all students. Maureen Joy exceeded academic growth for three of the past five years.
The Learning Center
The Learning Center opened in 1997 and currently serves 168 students in Grades K-8. The school is an E-STEAM school, meaning it combines Entrepreneurship, STEM, Arts and Agriculture. TLC received national awards for its free breakfast program and has exceeded academic growth in two of the past three years.