Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers is among 27 applicants statewide whose 2014-15 charter school proposals were pulled from consideration because of incomplete paperwork. The Public Charter School Advisory Council met Monday to ponder giving them a second chance -- and found two more with incomplete paperwork.
The state Office of Charter Schools found that 42 of 69 applications were complete, sending them on for the next step of review. Sixteen of 19 applications from Mecklenburg County cleared the first screening, while only five of the 10 applications for surrounding counties made the cut. Rejections included both applications from Iredell County, two of three from Union County and one of three for Cabarrus County. Both applications filed for Gaston County survived the first screening.
Biggers said Monday the rejection won't close the high school. He said his board just thought it made more sense to have separate charters, since the two Queens Grants have separate campuses and principals.
As for the rejection, Biggers says he understands: "Quite frankly, it's just like a job interview. You judge folks on the way they present themselves in the application." But he said it might make more sense for the office to send back applications with minor omissions to allow corrections, rather than throwing those applications out.
The advisory council is slated to decide Tuesday how to handle the rejected applications.
As Hui reports, all this is part of a broader debate over the proper way to monitor educational quality and financial responsibility in North Carolina's fast-growing charter school movement. Interest has been especially intense in the Charlotte region, which hosts a large number of existing charter schools and the N.C. Public Charter Schools Association. The association is among three charter advocacy groups that has raised questions about the large number of disqualifications this year.