The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School Application
Parties pursuing education funds must first form non-profit corporations in order to qualify for North Carolina school charters. Once these five-year contracts are granted, charter school corporate boards can then align with for-profit entities for school management. The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School application is a case in point.
In November 2011, Angela Lee, the lead applicant and her board of directors, submitted an application for the establishment of The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School. As noted in its proposal the Board plans to contract with National Heritage Academies, Inc., a privately-held education management company, to provide its expertise for the start-up school. National Heritage Academies, Inc. was chosen for the following reasons:
—Its experience working with public charter schools in North Carolina.The Board has apprised the state that it expects to enroll 480 students for the 2012/2013 school year. If this enrollment figure is achieved, the Board will receive $3,925,910 in education funds. This by-formula revenue calculation is outlined on pages 109-112 of the application.
—Its willingness to address the education needs of underserved children.
—The comprehensive nature of its school program, including academics as well as school culture and moral focus as a way to educate the whole child.
—The financial resources and experience it brings to the equation — i.e., facilities, real estate, start-up capital as a contribution and not a loan, and its willingness to accept the financial risk.
The National Heritage Academies, Inc. Services Agreement with The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School Board
ARTICLE VIINational Heritage Academies, Inc. North Carolina Charter School Performance Record
A. Revenues. Except as provided herein, all monies received by the Board shall be deposited in the School's depository account within three (3) business days with a financial institution acceptable to the Board; provided, however, that upon receipt of a notice from NHA, the School shall pay all such The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School funds owing under this Agreement directly to the account or party specified in such notice. Interest income earned on the School's depository account shall accrue to the School. Except as specifically excluded by this Agreement, the term "Revenues" shall include all funds received by or on behalf of the School, including but not limited to:
1. Funding for public school students enrolled at the School.
2. Special education funding provided by the federal and/or state govermnent that is directly allocable to special education students enrolled at the School.
3. Gifted and talented funding provided by the federal and/or state government that is directly allocable to gifted and talented students enrolled at the School.
4. At-risk funding provided by the federal and/or state government that is directly allocable to at-risk students enrolled at the School.
5. Funding provided by the federal and/or state government that is directly allocable to students enrolled at the School with limited English proficiency.
6. All other federal and/or state grant sources, including, but not limited to, Title I and any start-up funding allocable to the School.
7. All other grants and donations received by the School to support or carry out programs at the School (except to the extent NHA is not required or involved in soliciting, administering or managing the contribution and/or donation).
8. Fees charged to students as permitted by law for extra services approved by the Board.
D. Board Spending Account. Each school year during the Term, NHA shall pay to the Board an amount equal to the lesser of: (i) 2% of state per-pupil aid reflected in the Budget for that respective school year, or: (ii) $35,000 (the "Board Spending Account"). The aforesaid amount shall be deposited by NHA into the Board Spending Account pro-rata during the course of the School's school year as Revenues are received. All funds in the Board Spending Account are the property of the School and may be used by the School at the discretion of the Board.
National Heritage Academies, Inc. has been conducting business in North Carolina since 1999. The company has five schools under contract: Forsyth Academy, Greensboro Academy, PreEminent Charter School, Queens Grant Community School and Research Triangle Academy. Only one of these privately-managed public charter schools has met adequate yearly progress [AYP] academic standards as defined by the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.
The No Child Left Behind education measure was a guarantee to parents that public school children in all states would be proficient in core subjects by 2013/2014.
To achieve this objective, authors of the bill established professional standards: a “highly qualified teacher” is one with full certification, a bachelor’s degree and demonstrated competence in subject knowledge and teaching.
Performance data for the listed National Heritage Academies, Inc. charter schools was obtained from the N.C. School Report Cards Web site.
Forsyth Academy Winston Salem, NC established 1999— 671 K-8 student enrollment
Forsyth Academy did not make adequate yearly progress. The number of highly qualified teachers jointly employed by National Heritage Academies, Inc. and the Board has declined to 96% from 97%.
Greensboro Academy Greensboro, NC established 1999 —720 K-8 student enrollment
Greensboro Academy made adequate yearly progress and is classified as an Honor School of Excellence. The number of highly qualified teachers jointly employed by National Heritage Academies, Inc. and the Board has declined from 100% to 94%.
PreEminent Charter School Raleigh, NC established 2000— 531 K-8 student enrollment
PreEminent Charter School did not make adequate yearly progress. The number of highly qualified teachers jointly employed by National Heritage Academies, Inc. and the Board has declined from 100% to 89%.
Queens Grant Community School Mint Hill, NC established 2002— 1233 K-12 student enrollment.
Queens Grant Community School did not make adequate yearly progress. The number of highly qualified teachers jointly employed by National Heritage Academies, Inc. and the Board remained the same, 90%.
Research Triangle Charter Durham, NC established 2000— 685 K-8 student enrollment
Research Triangle Charter did not make adequate yearly progress. The number of highly qualified teachers jointly employed by National Heritage Academies, Inc. and the Board has declined from 94% to 86%.
Credentials for North Carolina Charter School Educators as stipulated by NCGS Chapter 115C-238.29:
1. Compliance Requirement - The charter school’s board of directors shall employ and contract with necessary teachers to perform the particular service for which they are employed in the school. At least seventy-five percent (75%) of these teachers in grades kindergarten through five, at least fifty percent (50%) of these teachers in grades six through eight, and at least fifty percent (50%) of these teachers in grades nine through twelve shall hold teacher certificates.News reports re The Howard & Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School application:
"Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board to discuss Howard and Lillian Lee charter school tonight"
News & Observer— December 15, 2011
"Eleven charter schools make the cut" The Locker Room — December 15, 2011
"Charter schools and Howard Lee: A complicated relationship" The Locker Room — December 13, 2011