Newly Elected Leaders Could Show More Support for School Choice

CHARLOTTE -- The results of this week's election could impact public education, not just on a federal level, but also here in North Carolina.

Voters here elected a Republican state superintendent for the first time in recent history.

Education advocates say these leadership changes in North Carolina and the White House could bring new dollars to the school choice movement.

President-elect Donald Trump says he'd like to put  “$20 billion toward school choice,” like charter schools and vouchers for private schools.

It’s a movement North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association Executive Director Lee Teague says he's looking forward to.

"On the local level, we feel we have not been getting our fair share of the local funding,” said Teague.

He says he's excited to see more support for charter schools at the national and state level, since North Carolina voters just elected Republican Mark Johnson as state superintendent of public instruction.

"I've spoken to him, and he's very much in favor of parental choice,” said Teague.

MeckEd President Ross Danis says school choice is good, to an extent.

"Now that the charter movement is in its third decade, we're starting to see some growing pains,” said Danis, who leads a non-profit public education advocacy group in Mecklenburg County.

He says some charter schools across the country open too quickly without providing a quality education and then end up closing down.

Danis says they're not always held to the same accountability as other public schools.

"Sometimes I wonder if we should hold all schools to the same standard, because if we held all public schools to the same standard, my guess is a number of them would be closed tomorrow morning,” said Danis.

But Teague says after this Election, he hopes it's easier for quality charter schools to open to at least give families a new option for their kids.

"Charters are not the right choice for every child in this state, but they're proving to be the right choice for many children,” said Teague.

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