Coalition responds to Governor’s veto of H.B. 219, Charter School Omnibus

By July 25, 2023 Legislation, News

The Coalition yesterday released a response to Governor Cooper’s veto of H.B. 219, Charter School Omnibus. In his veto message, the Governor included some comments that misrepresented the facts. The statements below from the Coalition address those misrepresentations.

Gov. Cooper wrote in his veto message that House Bill 219 “allows more students to attend failing charter schools…North Carolina should continue to cap the enrollment growth of low-performing charter schools until they can show that they improve student outcomes.”

It’s true that House Bill 219 removes enrollment caps for some charter schools – but it explicitly requires caps for low-performing charter schools. It doesn’t eliminate them.

Here’s the exact bill text: “Limit enrollment caps to low-performing schools.”

The bill only removes enrollment caps for public charter schools that aren’t low-performing because there were more than 77,000 student names on waitlists for North Carolina public charter schools for the 2022-23 school year.

Gov. Cooper also wrote, “Diverting local resources to build charter schools without clear authority on who owns them risks financial loss to county taxpayers.”

But current state law says that the assets, including the building, of a closed charter school go to the local school district.

Here’s the statute (G.S. 115C-218.100(b)): “Upon dissolution of a charter school, all net assets of the charter school purchased with public funds shall be deemed the property of the local school administrative unit in which the charter school is located.”

Read the full press release or this Carolina Journal article.

Kristen Blair

Author Kristen Blair

Kristen Blair is the communications director for the North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools.

More posts by Kristen Blair