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By T. Keung Hui, Staff Writer
April 23, 2009

RALEIGH — No applicants from the Triangle made the list of six charter school finalists announced this afternoon by state education officials.

Raleigh Academy of Technology, Wake Math and Science Academy, STAR Academy in Durham and Horizon Academy in Franklin County were among the 18 applicants for three charter-school openings. They didn’t make the list of finalists chosen by members of a state Board of Education committee.

The six finalists are:

  • McKinnney Academy in Mecklenburg County, which wants to convert from being a private school to help students think globally.
  • Mountain Island Charter School in Mecklenburg County, which touts in-depth instruction in foreign language.
  • New Bern International Academy in Craven County, which touts a global multicultural curriculum.
  • Bear Grass Charter in Martin County, which would convert from being a traditional public school and partner with East Carolina University.
  • Lake Lure Classical Academy in Rutherford County, a high school that would stress classical literature, English grammar and writing.
  • Henderson Collegiate in Vance County, which would help students in grades 4-8 prepare for college while combating the racial and socioeconomic achievement gap.

The schools would open for the 2010-11 school year.

The state board’s Leadership and Innovation Committee will interview the applicants on May 5. The committee would vote in June, with the full board deciding in July whether any of the applicants should be approved.

Charter schools have been open in North Carolina since 1998. The General Assembly capped the state at 100 charter schools with various attempts to raise or eliminate the cap falling short.

Charter schools receive public funding but aren’t bound by many of the rules that apply at traditional public schools. They are independent schools typically run by private boards, and they have the freedom to set their own curriculum guidelines.

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