Alliance Joins Senator Westmoreland to Urge Review of DPI

Senator Westmoreland

Raleigh – Senator Wes Westmoreland has requested that the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Committee study the Department of Public Instruction’s “sluggish efforts to approve ‘fast track’ charter schools” according to a recent N&O article.

Former Senator Debbie Clary now sits on the Board of Directors of the NC Alliance for Public Charter Schools and is Chair of Pinnacle Classical Academy – a new charter school that is still awaiting final approval from DPI.  Senator Westmoreland is also a Director of Pinnacle and with Clary has experienced firsthand the frustrations accompanying the approval process in starting a new school.

“I’m not convinced we are doing everything we can to have successful startups,” Westmoreland said in the article.

Charter Alliance Director Clary said that she was encouraged that Senator Westmorland had been able to convince the Program Evaluation Committee to take up the study on how DPI can improve its management of the charter process.

“As a board member of the Alliance, I see a number of other new schools experiencing the same problems that we have at Pinnacle; a thoughtful, objective assessment of the current process with suggestions on how to improve it will benefit everyone in the charter environment,” Senator Clary said.

Debbie Clary, Alliance Director

“The Alliance board works with all stakeholders to help our state’s education,” Clary said.  “Along with our member schools, we meet with DPI folks, with members of the General Assembly, and with educators in the districts in our efforts to enhance the statutory and regulatory environment – not only for charters but for all schools in North Carolina,” she added.

Clary said she is looking forward the Program Evaluation Committee’s study report, which she hopes will be out in time for the Alliance’s state-wide annual charter school conference in Raleigh on March 21-23.

“I encourage every charter school to send several representatives to the conference.  Charter schools are rapidly expanding nationwide due to their success in attracting parents who like exercising their freedom of school choice.  But this success has created opposition from some traditional schools where they choose not to be cooperative and work with charters for the betterment of all,” Clary said.

Along with a great line-up of speakers on a wide range of topics, Clary said the keynote speaker is the President of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, Nina Rees.   Schools may easily register for the conference on-line by going to the Alliance web site at

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