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North Carolina: New For-Profit Charter School for 2,000 Plus Students Will Open

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The North Carolina State Board of Education unanimously approved the opening of a for-profit charter school that will enroll more than 2,000 students in Cary. The school will be operated by Charter Schools, USA, a Florida corporation owned by Jonathan Hage, a friend of Jeb Bush. Not an educator, Hage has built a very large business by owning for-profit charters.

The State Board of Education unanimously approved Cardinal Charter Academy West Campus, which plans to educate up to 2,180 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The new school, modeled after the existing Cardinal Charter Academy in Cary, represents the latest effort by charter school operators to target the fast-growing western Wake County area…

Critics say charter schools are targeting the more-affluent families who live in western Wake, where test scores are higher and the percentage of low-income students is lower than the Wake County school district average. Charters are taxpayer-funded public schools that are exempt from some of the regulations that traditional public schools must follow.

But supporters say they’re meeting the need for school choice, citing the long waiting lists for Cardinal Charter and packed parent information sessions.

Cardinal Charter West would be managed by Charter Schools USA, a Florida-based for-profit company that could receive more than $2 million a year from the new school.

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At the same meeting of the state board, a charter school in rural Bertie County was closed because of its low enrollment and poor academic standing.

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