If you care about education in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools I urge you to take action TODAY. We are not opposed to parents and students having more options for their education but the financial impact that this charter would make on the district would be devastating. The following text is directly from an email I sent this morning to Dr. Forcella and all school board members.
It may not be true that the school district has no input on the approval of the application for charter. We have made contact with a wonderful woman in Michigan who has been battling charter schools in her area and the sometimes dismal performance of National Heritage Academies since 1999.
Because this is on the FastTrack the district has to act quickly. We cannot do this from our end as it has to come from the school district. All of the new proposed charter schools waited until the last minute to file so as NOT to have any opposition.
The reason we know of this is that someone within the organization brought us in on the conversation thinking that we (Suepinda, I and the NAACP) would be for it. We are wholly against it as it will NOT meet the needs of the children it proposes to serve. They cannot single out African American and Latino students, it will siphon off much needed dollars from our school district, and by design (no transportation, no Title 1) will serve only those who have the means to arrive to school on time.
If you want to decimate this school district you will do nothing. I cannot stress this any more ardently. We stand to lose up to $4 million dollars in the first year with the approval of this charter.
I am not sure if you have a Dec. 2 deadline or a Jan. 1 deadline to send the LEA opposition statement but it is most likely Dec 2.
It appears that the State Board approved a "Fast Track" process for those applications that were held back last year because of the cap. In the following link you will find 27 applications all listed as part of the "fast track" which includes the NHA charter. Many of the applications I pulled up actually state that it is a fast track application, not so with the NHA one but it is included here. Normally an appoved application must take a year to prepare before opening. The deadlines have been modified to get these schools thru the approval process quicker so they may have additional time to get ready for next fall opening. So the Dec. 2 deadline applies to these applications for LEA Impact Statements. That is THIS FRIDAY. TOMORROW.
A phone call to verify this might be wise since the application received in your LEA doesn't state it is "Fast Track" but it is on the list. You wouldn't want to miss a deadline. Did the district get some kind of cover letter letting them know of their rights and timeline? The fast track applications actually include the Timeline page in their application.
Please let me know that you have received this, read it and whether the district plans to act upon it.
We are continuing our campaign to fight this but without the school district making its impact statement it will surely happen. The taxpayers of this community need to know what's going on. A community conversation needs to be had about this issue and why the interested parties feel that it needs a charter school. They have designed it so there will not be.