RALEIGH — Proposed charter schools in Anson and Union counties have only one more hurdle left before they are approved to open.
The North Carolina Schools Advisory Board approved Monroe Charter Academy earlier this month, and Anson Charter Academy was approved by the board on Jan. 12, according to an email from Eddie Goodall, chairman of the Anson Charter Academy board.
A release from Anson Charter Academy stated that the schools have only one more requirement before getting the green light to begin the process of opening the school.
In June, the State Board of Education will vote on whether to approve the Anson school.
“The school will provide a classical education, using the Core Knowledge curriculum and emphasizing character education and citizenship,” the release from the school said. “The board includes members who helped in the founding of Monroe Charter Academy, a ‘sister’ charter. The Anson and Monroe charter governance structure was modeled after South Piedmont Community College’s oversight of the Monroe and Anson County community college campuses.”
Brian Johnson serves on both the Anson Charter Academy board and the county school board.
Johnson said he has a good feeling about the Anson Charter Academy getting approved, “but it’s not guaranteed until we hold the paper.”
Johnson said the school will be located in the Wadesboro area, but that the board isn’t prepared to provide a location for the school until more details are solidified and the state approval has been granted.
“We plan to open in fall ‘18,” Johnson said. “As soon as we get approval, we’ll have everything we need to begin the final stage.”
Hiring will take place later in the process. Johnson said the board wants to be sure it hires the right candidates.
“We have to make sure the headmasters and teachers are trained in classical education rather than Common Core,” he said.
Johnson said he has been asked by community members whether he continues to serve on both the charter school and public school system boards, but isn’t prepared to answer that yet.
“I hate to confirm either way, but it has been my intention to dedicate time to the charter school,” he said. However, he said he hopes to push for improvement in the county school system by continuing to serve on that board.
“The whole idea here isn’t to hurt Anson County schools, but to improve them,” he said.
Johnson is excited about the future of the charter school.
“I’m confident that it’s going to be an extremely good school,” he said. “The children coming out of there are going to leave with a very strong education.”
The North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board has approved a total of 15 charters this spring that will open in 2018, contingent upon state approval, according to the release. Mecklenburg, Guilford and Wake will have two, and other counties, including Anson and Union counties, will each have one charter school.
“We plan to have a diverse school and provide a rigorous education program for Wadesboro-area families who have not had an opportunity to get children in a charter,” Goodall said in the release. “We will partner with parents and the communities and set high expectations of all the stakeholders.”
A website for the school has been set up — though as of April 17, the most recent update appeared to be an advertisement for a January open house. Parents or guardians interested in the school can visit the website to fill out an interest form.
For more information on the school, visit AnsonCharterAcademy.org, its Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-236-1234.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.