Greensboro's News and Record; "N.C. education board OKs delay for [Phil Berger Jr's] charter"

"Providence Charter High leaders have another year to find a building for the Rockingham County school.

The State Board of Education on Thursday granted the school’s board of directors an extension to open in 2015, said Joel Medley, the director of the N.C. Office of Charter Schools.

Plans originally called for Providence to open next month.

School and county leaders were talking about using the old [taxpayer owned] Wentworth High building but failed to reach an agreement in time for an August opening.

...In January, the state granted final approval to 26 charter school applications, including the one for Providence Charter High submitted by Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. 

Berger, who is the son of state Senate leader Phil Berger [who stacked the Charter School Council Board] and a candidate in the Republican runoff for the 6th Congressional District seat, is a member of the Providence board of directors.

...Charter schools go through a lengthy approval process before they can open.

Providence advanced through the approval process despite initial concerns about the application.

Four reviewers agreed to move the application to the interview phase, despite listing concerns about typos and missing or inadequate information.

The reviewers noted the application lacked clear, measurable goals for student performance. The plan outlined in the application didn’t deal with serving at-risk students and lacked details about serving children with special needs. The reviewers also recommended more work or information on facilities planning.

In July 2013, the charter school advisory council voted 5-3 to send the Providence application to the state board for final approval. Several of the council members were absent during the vote...

Including two Phil Berger Sr. appointed to the council

The meeting minutes also show council members expressed concern that the Providence representatives submitted new information during the interview instead of clarification. A representative handed out a packet of new information to the council members.

An open letter to the North Carolina State Board of Education

Council member Kwan Graham was “flabbergasted that the Council allowed new information to go through for the last application when it has never allowed before,” according to the minutes.


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