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FIRST ON 3: Mitchell quits NC Charter School Advisory Board

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Amid controversy and a federal investigation, Roger Bacon Academy founder Baker Mitchell has resigned from the state’s Charter School Advisory Board.

His resignation letter submitted to Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger Wednesday says after reviewing his commitments to other organizations and challenges in the upcoming months, Mitchell feels the Senate should appoint someone else who can devote more time

The Charter School Advisory Board makes recommendations to the State Board of Education on the adoption of rules regarding all aspects of charter school operation, including time lines, standards, and criteria for acceptance and approval of applications, monitoring of charter schools and grounds for revocation of charters, according to a state website. The board also reviews applications and make recommendations to the State Board on charter applications, renewals and revocations.

This comes after several requests from media outlets including WWAY for public records from Roger Bacon Academy and Charter Day School, Inc., in an attempt to provide transparency for the way Mitchell’s charter schools spend taxpayer money.

While Mitchell remains silent as his schools and companies hold back information, school leaders at a charter school conference Thursday in downtown Wilmington had plenty to say about public record requests.

“I think transparency is important because people have questions, and they don’t want things hidden from them,” said Beverly Woodard, a charter school principal.

Robert Daniel, principal at Falls Lake Academy in Creedmoor, said, “I think it ought to be something that they can research and be able to find out if there is a need for it, but if all they are looking to do is to be able to establish gripes and groans against a particular charter school or a particular teacher, or a particular administrator, I don’t think that’s helpful at all.”

We reached out to Mitchell for comment on his resignation from the Advisory Board, but he did not return our call.

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