48 NC schools eligible for charter operators takeover

RALEIGH — North Carolina has identified 48 eligible low-performing public schools for a possible takeover by charter school operators. Two will be selected to be part of the state’s new Innovative School District to be joined by three more schools later. At this time there are no schools listed from Cleveland, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties.

ISD Superintendent Eric Hall will narrow the list of eligible schools and present his recommendations to the State Board of Education at its October meeting. The first two schools could be selected and approved by the state board in November or December. Upon inclusion in the ISD, the local board of education that runs the school has two options – agree to relinquish control of the school or close it down.

The criteria for selection of the 48 candidates was to be ranked in the lowest 5 percent of the state and to serve elementary school students. The charter school operators,  will supervise and operate these schools with the goal of improving their performance.

North Carolina lawmakers set up the new school district as a pilot program that last five years. A possible three-year extension could be approved.