Brunswick County Schools oppose approval of new charter school - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Brunswick County Schools oppose approval of new charter school

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County Schools is coming out in opposition of the approval of South Brunswick Charter School. In a Local Education Agency Impact Statement, which will be sent to the NC Department of Public Instruction's Office of Charter Schools, the district cites two reasons it's against the charter school.

One of the reasons is financial.

Roger Bacon Academy, Inc., which is owned by Baker Mitchell, Jr., will manage South Brunswick Charter School.

According to the statement from Brunswick Schools, "Mr. Mitchell's private companies have continuously profited, through management fees and rent from taxpayer dollars."

The district states that tax returns show management fees paid to Mitchell totaled nearly $16 million for the 5-year period from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2012.

We're told the money Mitchell gets from the state doesn't just pay his salary, it is also goes toward the salaries of his staff.

Still, it's hard to tell exactly where those dollars are going because Mitchell doesn't have to provide documentation on how the money is spent. 

"If these dollars were to remain in the traditional LEA they would be used to directly support the education of students," the district asserts. "Once these payments are made, there is no accountability as with traditional public schools for these taxpayer dollars."

We reached out to Mitchell Friday night to get his reaction but haven't heard back from him yet.

However, we have talked to Mitchell about his charter schools in the past.

He said his schools are educating children for less tax dollars per student and getting results that are just as good, if not better.

School board members also believe South Brunswick Charter School's application "is based on an unfulfilled assertion that South Brunswick Charter School will provide students innovation not currently supported by the traditional local education agency (LEA)." 

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