Senate Bill Would Require Charter Schools To Disclose Salaries

Jun 11, 2014

Credit WUNC File Photo

A Senate Education Committee has approved a bill that makes certain that charter schools are subject to the same public records and open meetings laws as traditional public schools.

The bill comes at a time when charter schools are thriving in North Carolina - 26 new schools are set to open in the fall.

Charter schools are run by private nonprofit boards, but get public money from the state. For that reason, lawmakers say charter schools should be bound by the same state public record laws as traditional schools.

That means charter schools would have to disclose some employee information, including names, salaries, positions, suspensions and promotions.

The issue got some attention in the spring when the Observer newspaper requested salaries for employees of 22 Charlotte charter schools. Two of them refused to disclose all of the information.

A legislative researcher says charter boards are supposed to comply with the public records act when they first sign their charter contracts. She says this bill would clarify that requirement.

The bill would also allow single-gendered charter schools to limit admission the basis of gender.

The legislation is now expected to go before the full Senate.