More on Senate Bill 8 – Talking points


(***Parents:  Our state representative is  Roger West. Representative Roger West can be reached at (919)733-5859 or by email at ***)



8 Myths of Senate Bill 8

Talking Points

Myth # 1 “Charters are way to racially segregate public schools.”

  • Law requires open enrollment, bars discrimination; lottery used in case of over-subscription
  • Charter Act specifically designed to target at risk students
  • 31 charters over 60% minority; of these, 30 meet state growth and proficiency standards
  • 247 district schools with over 90% minorities enrolled and 11 historically black colleges in NC


Myth # 2 “Charters are underperforming and we do not need more”.

  • In North Carolina, 52.2% are Schools of Distinction or Honor Schools of Excellence v. 38% district
  • In North Carolina, 76.8% of charters made AYP v. 57.8% district
  • Studies of charter success: Stanford’s Caroline Hoxby, Florida State’s Tim Hass, and Harvard’s Tom Kane
  • Parents compare their choices: local charter versus local district school; less interested in national studies


Myth # 3 “Charters take money away from public schools”.

  • Charters are public schools.
  • Ball State study said average 400 child charter gets $365,000 less than district school
  • Charters don’t get buildings so local taxpayers save money
  • Bill allows charters to share only in a new and limited definition of the “General Fund” of school districts


Myth # 4: “Charters must have cafeterias and bus service to be fair to every child.”

  • 39 charters provide transportation service; others devise parent carpooling and other transportation plans
  • Several charters have children from up to 9 counties versus the compact attendance zones districts have
  • Bill mandates that lack of meals or transportation cannot be a barrier to attendance for students
  • First priority in a charter school is quality education and by necessity they may forego other services
  • Best option is to expand charters so they are closer to where the family lives in the first place


Myth # 5: “New charter legislation will create an unneeded and unconstitutional commission.”

  • Need a dedicated and charter-knowledgeable body to oversee the charters; state board duties too broad
  • Charters in states with separate charter oversight bodies have fared better
  • Charters more accountable if outcomes attributed to one body
  • Volunteer board; costs negligible


Myth # 6: “Charters are not accountable to anyone.”

  • Actually have more oversight, including, most importantly, parent oversight by their choice of the school
  • Subject to all the state testing requirements, constantly monitored by the state, and have CPA audits
  • State standardized student and financial reporting, NC Wise and ISIS, school’s independent board of directors


Myth # 7: “Charters do not serve children with disabilities and at risk youth.”

  • Law requires the same standards for charters as district schools


Myth # 8: “Charters want to take even more money from district schools in the new bill”.

  • LEAs supposed to share funds in their “Current Expense Fund” with charters but did not do so for years
  • LEAs got caught in the “Sugar Creek” law cases and had to pay back the money kept from charters
  • 2010 Legislature buried in Budget provision to allow LEAs to continue to retain certain funds from charters
  • SB 8 earlier version corrected this but last version allows districts to keep many funds from  charters


Jim Stegall, Lobbyist for the North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools   704-221-1958


The Learning Center! Charter School’s sole intent is to provide our school community with information about what is happening politically in our state regarding charter school law.  We solely seek to inform.

TLC Science Fair

Recently all 6th – 8th graders completed their yearly science projects and had them on display in the Dining Commons.  Many will now move on to the science fair competition at Tri-County Community College in April.



Not only did the students who performed the science experiments learn something new, so did all the younger grades that toured the fair and got to ask questions of the young scientist.



I hear and I forget

I see and I remember

I do and I understand


    – Chinese Proverb

A parent’s right to choose the best education for their child

This video illustrates a significant need to  strengthen North Carolina’s public charter school law.

The Learning Center! Charter School’s sole intent is to provide our school community with information about what is happening politically in our state regarding charter school law.  We solely seek to inform.


More Charter News From Across the State

<div class=\"postavatar\">More Charter News From Across the State</div>

This week the NC School Boards Association and NC Association of School Administrators sent this charter hit piece (click <<<HERE>>> to read this disinformation being sent out) to its members. We all agree our district school employees are doing their best to help our students and we appreciate their dedication to children. However, their Raleigh edu-establishment “bosses” are the ones throwing the stones who are understandably worried by the competition that public charters offer parents and children. They, like all of us, don’t like to lose customers.

Read this article <<<click HERE to read the article>>>which addresses many of the scurrilous points from the attack article above.  The bill is in the House Education Committee Tuesday at 10 AM.

Senate Bill 8 will be heard soon in our state’s House.  Our district representative is Roger West.  He can be reached at (919)733-5859 or by email at

Senate Bill 8 does great things for charter schools.  Here are some of them:

  • Public charters schools operate successfully with less taxpayer funding than their district counterparts and that most charter schools have student bodies that largely reflect the racial backgrounds of their traditional district counterparts.
  • Charter schools are getting much less money per student than traditional public schools.
  • The bill does not give charters “the right” to capital money. Instead, it gives counties “the option” to provide capital funding in the form of bond debt.   It would be subject to a vote of the county commissioners and the people like any bond for school construction.
  • Because charter schools use private dollars on low-cost facilities, when students transfer to them, it actually relieves overcrowded school systems and saves them from the cost of building new schools.


The Learning Center! Charter School’s sole intent is to provide our  school community with information about what is happening politically in  our state regarding charter school law.  We solely seek to inform.




K-4 celebrate Dr. Seuss


Dr. Seuss celebrated a birthday recently and students from kindergarten through fourth grade traveled to Franklin to see a live musical about all things Seuss.


If over eighty TLC! kids traveled to the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts to see this production, that means that at least twenty parents volunteered their time to transport students to and from.  Trips like this would not be possible without our wonderful parent volunteers.  Thank you!

Eat a Rainbow

Last week TLC eighth graders and fourth graders were lucky enough to be part of a new program from the Cherokee County Arts Council.



The Color and Healthy Food Project is based on color theory.  It describes the principals of primary and secondary colors and applies that knowledge to fruits and vegetables.



Similar to the “eat a rainbow” theory, this program encourages kids to eat all the colors of the rainbow.  In fact, the more color the better!




This program proved to be an art lesson, color lesson, cooking instruction and a feast.


Most importantly, it had the kids reaching for more.



Odyssey of the Mind

First of all, what is Odyssey of the Mind?

According to the official Odyssey of the Mind website, it is:

. . . an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their           creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.


For the 2010-2011 school year our school has five teams and they each competed at the regional level this past weekend.




It takes countless hours of students after school, teacher and parent volunteers and traveling to and from.



The elementary team won first place and will compete in the state level competition in April.  Way to go kids!



One of our awesome veteran coaches was awarded Coach of the Year.  Yeah Coach Joy!

Congratulations to each and every one of you.  Impressive showing for all of your hard work.  The Learning Center is extremely proud of you all!

Clemson University Students Pitch in on Project Creek Bank

On Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 twenty Clemson University students joined volunteers at The Learning Center! Charter School in their efforts to revitalize a tributary on school property that runs into the nearby Hiwassee River. The school has taken on the project (called “Project Creek Bank”) with the help of Tony Ward, Restoration Coordinator for Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition.  The coalition has provided staff and student training in identifying and methods of removal of invasive plants, as well as identifying native plants that are in danger of being overtaken by the invasive growth.

TLC! students worked along with Clemson University students.

“Two years ago, we made the first steps toward identifying the invasive plants that continue to take over this area,” said school director Mary Jo Dyre, “many to the extent of killing some of the native trees.” In the fall of 2009, the start of the effort was documented in a You Tube video by local blogger, Jackie Jentzsch on her blog called “Green as You Can Be.” The blog shares information about individuals, businesses and organizations that live “green.” The site highlights The Learning Center’s Project Creek Bank in the video as an example of students learning how to be “green” by using a hands-on approach.


Helpful Clemson University students hauled away invasive plants from the creek bank site.

Thank you Clemson students!

Legislative Update – NC State Senate Votes to Remove Cap on Public Charter Schools

<div class=\"postavatar\">Legislative Update - NC State Senate Votes to Remove Cap on Public Charter Schools</div>
The Senate floor in Raleigh, NC on February 23, 2011.


Yesterday was a good day for charter schools in North Carolina!

Live! The vote totals on Senate Bill 8.

The North Carolina State Senate took up Senate Bill 8 and voted convincingly to remove the cap on public charter schools.  The bill also creates a statewide charters commission to authorize schools and hold them accountable. The State Board of Education could veto the commission’s decisions with a three-quarters majority. The bill would preserve a current requirement that a charter school’s student body represent the racial and ethnic makeup of its community, but does not contain Democratic amendments requiring charters to provide transportation and meals to low-income children.  One more vote is required before the bill moves to the House.


The Learning Center! Charter School’s sole intent is to provide our  school community with information about what is happening politically in  our state regarding charter school law.  We solely seek to inform.