Eddie Goodall wants state to adverti$e for more charter school applicants

Think of how many more incompetent educators might try their hand if they only knew:

We already spend $20 million annually for lottery advertising, and senators want to spend $10 million more. We spend zero for charter schools. Advertising how to start charter schools in North Carolina offers a greater return on our taxpayer money than lottery advertising.

Better idea. Take $1 million of the lottery ad money and tell families and businesses about how to start a charter school. One primary reason we have dwindling charter applications (71 in 2014 and 40 this year) is that residents are unaware that it is indeed they and partnering neighbors or colleagues who apply to start the schools of choice.

No, the primary reason we have dwindling charter applications is that proponents are realizing it's not nearly as easy as people like you have been telling them. Somewhere around 1/3 of new charter schools close their doors within the first year, many of those never able to hold their first class. And poor financial planning is the major cause:

The majority of charter school closures were primarily due to financial reasons – low enrollment, fiscal noncompliance, excessive debts, etc. While the identified figure was finance, there could have been other correlations that led to the financial issues. For instance, parents may have been unhappy with the academic results at the school leading them to withdraw their children. Those withdrawals impacted the budget creating the financial crisis that ultimately closed the school.

Other charters were granted to entities that, for whatever reason, could never get to the point of opening. The State Board of Education granted a one year delay for one of those schools due to construction delays; however, a specific condition was placed upon it – if the school does not open in August 2014, then the approval is nullified. The other applicant group struggled with securing a facility and, more importantly, lost a significant partnership that was central to the approved application. The State Board did not grant the delay due to those issues but encouraged them to reapply.

The changes in charter school laws and funding have been well-documented by mainstream media. While Goodall is certainly correct that not all potential charter school applicants are aware that they can start their own school, recruiting that group of *less-informed* people could only result in a higher percentage of failed schools. And the loss of taxpayer dollars and disappointed students and parents that comes with that failure.

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An opportunity ....

... for an investigative journalist to see how far they could get in the process by creating a fake charter school, documenting all the problem areas these eager beavers overlook as they trip over each other to give away state funds to swindlers.