By correspondent Matt Goad
With the possibility of 11 new charter schools coming to Durham County in the next two years, the school board wants to improve cooperation between charter schools and traditional public schools.
The board endorsed a vision statement last night calling for “quality schools for all children.”
The state Department of Public Instruction’s deadline for letters of intent to form new charter schools was Jan. 4. It received 11 letters showing interest in new Durham charter schools, including a statewide virtual academy.
That would double the number of charter schools in a district already facing enrollment concerns.
“This is a pretty big deal that charters and traditional public schools are trying to cooperate,” said Heidi Carter, chairwoman of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education.
It is important that the charter schools share in educating students of diverse social and economic backgrounds, Carter said.
“Our Vision,” the statement reads in part, “incorporates a culture of cooperation, transparency, accountability, and collegiality in the management of public education rather than one of competition and division.
“We envision a climate of reciprocal trust in which we celebrate each other’s successes,” it continues. “All Durham’s public schools – whether they be traditional public schools or charter public schools – will operate as elements of a fair and efficient system with multiple parts interacting and working together toward our common goals, under local accountability for student success.”
The next step, Carter said, would be a charter schools compact that could include a limit on new charter schools in Durham County.
Look for more on this story next week in The Durham News.