Some NC charter schools may not be ready to open in fall

by: Paige Hansen Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Several charter schools that are supposed to open in North Carolina this fall, may not be ready. For the first time, the state Office of Charter Schools is using a "Ready to Open" report to help schools know where they stand.

Inside the empty building where Dr. Hans Plotseneder will open Entrepreneur High School, the school's principal and CEO explained his vision for a school focused on vocational education.

"Our first objective is career readiness,"  Plotseneder, who is better known as "Dr. Plots," said. "Every student will be industry certified."

But Dr. Plots' school is one of eight statewide the Office of Charter Schools says has made "slight progress" and needs to show more before it can open.

Dr. Plots says he has 207 students enrolled but the state needs to see more paperwork on school policies. Channel 9 asked about the readiness of the facility itself, Dr. Plots said construction is starting this week.

A.C.E. Academy Charter, which is set to open in Cabarrus County, is also listed in the state's "most concerning" category. 
 
In an email, the school's director Laila Minott said it's because of enrollment and staff hiring but that none of the state's concerns "will limit our scheduled opening date."

The Office of Charter Schools said the ratings do not mean a school cannot open by its intended start date.

Eddie Goodall, a proponent for charter schools says regulators are being stringent, especially after one Charlotte charter, Student First, closed in April because it didn't have the money to stay open.

"I think that has weighed on possibly this year's review of charter schools because of the coverage it got," Goodall, the executive director of the NC Public Charter Schools Association, said.

Goodall said starting a school is not an easy task and it is up to parents to ask their own questions.

The state is contacting the schools individually and is giving them each 30 days to show whatever is necessary to prove they are ready for students.

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