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NC board approves 26 new charter schools, including 4 in Wake

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The North Carolina Board of Education approved the establishment of 26 new charter schools Thursday, including four in Wake County and one in Durham County, as the state's move to charter schools continued to grow.

The move has been controversial in the education community, where some believe the growth of charter schools means more options for parents and students, while others say charter schools can undermine existing public schools.

How schools are funded is part of the issue. State Treasurer Janet Cowell said, "When a child goes to a charter school, the money for that child's education transfers from the school district to a charter. That can also take place between counties."

Eric Guckian, the governor's Education Advisor, said charters "should not be entrepreneurial opportunity for adults. Charters should be a high quality academic opportunity."

That's the goal of Magellan Charter in Raleigh, an established school that has been around 16 years. Magellan administrator Mary Griffin said "the schools have the autonomy to be innovative and do things outside the box. The teachers bring creativity to the classroom."

As more charters arrive in North Carolina, Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said there may be ways for charters and traditional schools to share resources. That, she said, could include transportation or letting students at one school take some classes at another.

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