Q&A: Charter School Improvement Plan?


I teach aspiring teachers, and had a student ask me if charter schools have the same School Improvement Plan process as public school districts in NC do. I said I’d find out and get back to her. Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Jeff
Jeff Carpenter, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Secondary and K-12 Teacher Education Programs Coordinator
Principal Investigator, Elon Noyce Scholars Program

School of Education, Elon University


Dear Jeff, Thank you for inquiring about North Carolina charter schools and the School Improvement Plan process.  The charter law states in part:

§ 115C‑238.29G. Causes for nonrenewal or termination; disputes.

(a) The State Board of Education, or a chartering entity subject to the approval of the State Board of Education, may terminate or not renew a charter upon any of the following grounds:

(1) Failure to meet the requirements for student performance contained in the charter;

(2) Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management;

(3) Violations of law;

(4) Material violation of any of the conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in the charter;

(5) Two‑thirds of the faculty and instructional support personnel at the school request that the charter be terminated or not renewed; or

(6) Other good cause identified.

(a1) The State Board shall adopt criteria for adequate performance by a charter school and shall identify charter schools with inadequate performance. The criteria shall include a requirement that a charter school which demonstrates no growth in student performance and has annual performance composites below sixty percent (60%) in any two years in a three‑year period is inadequate.

(1) If a charter school is inadequate in the first five years of the charter, the charter school shall develop a strategic plan to meet specific goals for student performance that are consistent with State Board criteria and the mission approved in the charter school. The strategic plan shall be reviewed and approved by the State Board. The State Board is authorized to terminate or not renew a charter for failure to demonstrate improvement under the strategic plan.

(2) If a charter school is inadequate and has had a charter for more than five years, the State Board is authorized to terminate or not renew the charter.

(b) The State Board of Education shall develop and implement a process to address contractual and other grievances between a charter school and its chartering entity or the local board of education during the time of its charter.

The term “strategic plan” is used and schools that are “inadequate” are required to develop such a plan.  As you can see, failure to demonstrate improvement under the plan allows the SBE to terminate the charter.

We hope this addresses your question.  Please let us know if you would like any additional information.


Ask the experts your charter school questions at info@ncchartersall.org

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