RALEIGH — More than a dozen new charter schools want state approval to open in 2021, including two in Guilford County and five in Mecklenburg County.
Fourteen new charter applicants met Monday's deadline to apply to open for the 2021-22 school year, according to information posted on the state Office of Charter Schools' website.
This comes after five charter schools met a July 29 deadline to request fast-track permission to open for the 2020-21 school year. None of those is in Guilford.
Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools exempt from some rules that traditional public schools must follow, such as providing school meals and bus service. Supporters say charter schools provide families with more education options. But critics say charters siphon money away from traditional public schools and increase school segregation.
There are 198 charter schools open in North Carolina. Another 12 recently received state approval to open in 2020. Some charter schools approved to open this year are waiting until 2020 due to issues such as not having a facility ready.
The number of charter schools has nearly doubled since the 100-school limit was lifted by state lawmakers in 2011. Some Democratic lawmakers unsuccessfully tried this year to get the Republican majority to put a new cap on charter school growth.
The two Guilford applications are for City Charter Academy, which would be managed by the for-profit National Heritage Academies; and Revolution Academy: Bunker Hill, which would be managed by Charter Development Schools.
National Heritage Academies currently manages nine North Carolina charter schools, including Greensboro Academy and Gate City Charter Academy in Greensboro and Forsyth Academy in Winston-Salem
National Heritage Academies also wants to open a new school in Durham.
The applications will be reviewed by the N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board, which will recommend which ones should be approved by the State Board of Education.