One of the most significant reforms made to the North Carolina public school system was the lifting of the cap on the maximum number of charter schools that could be opened in a given year. As a result, enrollment in charter schools has more than doubled since 2011. The NC General Assembly (NCGA) has continued to push school choice laws, launching a trio of measures to allow families to use public funds to pay for private education (source: N&O). While supporters of such measures argue that they give more control to parents, school choice measures have come under considerable criticism.
In recent weeks, a study was published showing how increased school choice measures in Charlotte led to faster gentrification. This in turn has led to increased segregation in schools. Research shows that "race is used by white families as a proxy for school quality". A Duke study in 2016 also showed that charter schools in North Carolina are significantly more segregated than traditional public schools.
Charter schools and other school choice measures are changing the face of education in our state. Find out where candidates in your district stand on these issues. Remember that many communities have school board elections coming up on May 8. What measures do your school board candidates plan to put in place? Now is the time to find out!