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NC House passes bill that protects charter schools from full disclosure

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY)– A new bill passed in the state house would protect charter schools from full disclosure.

WWAY and other media outlets asked for the salaries at the charter schools run by Roger Bacon Academy. We have received teachers salaries, but not management salaries, like Baker Mitchell.

This bill, that’s on its way to governor Pat McCrory’s desk keeps this information from the public. You’ll still be able to find out how much teachers make at charters schools, like Charter Day School in Leland.

“It requires the employees of the charter school who are employed by the board of directors to be subject to open records,” Representative Jon Hardister said.

Hardister says you won’t be able to get the same information for a management company, like Roger Bacon Academy.

“Because some charter schools are operated by a for-profit management company,” he said.

Baker Mitchell, who manages Roger Bacon Academy falls under this category.

“A company that is for profit that contracts for lawn care, for cafeteria service, sporting equipment or something of that nature,” Hardister said.

Technically, Mitchell is a contracted employee. So, you can’t know what his salary is.

“Are we going to say they have to open up their employees to public record?” Hardister asked.

To that question, Representative Susi Hamilton says yes.

“Why should it be any different for the charter schools, because charter schools are funded with public money? If taxpayer money is being spent, there should be that transparency,” Hamilton says.

However, Hardister says this bill provides more transparency than ever.

“For the first time ever.. Anyone employed by that board, which is the ultimate authority, is subject to open records,” Hardister explained.

Governor Pat McCrory still has to sign the bill before it is complete. He told us he still shares concerns about transparency for all employees and lawyers are reviewing the interpretations of this new law.

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