Some Media Slow to Report Facts…

[This comment was posted in response to a WECT May 20th article berating Charter Day School, RBA, and me for being slow to WECT’s demand for a list of all teachers’ salaries – personal information that we believe is private, confidential information between the school and the teacher.]

Since June of 2011, WECT has reported nineteen articles about Charter Day School, The Roger Bacon Academy (RBA) or Baker Mitchell. Most of them attempt to cast these successful Charter School educators in a negative light with little or no positive news. For example:

1. It failed to report Charter Day School in Leland, managed by RBA, had the highest combined test scores and academic growth of any public school in Brunswick County. 

2. It failed to report Columbus Charter School, under RBA management, had the highest combined test scores and academic growth of any public school in Columbus County.

3. It failed to report the 2013 NC Local Government Commission audit revealed Charter Day School received only $7,399 per pupil compared to $10,156 per pupil received by Brunswick County, saving taxpayers over $2.5 million last year alone while better educating students.

4. It failed to report that even though Charter Day School receives zero taxpayer funds for school construction, it has zero ($0) long-term debt while Brunswick County taxpayers are on the hook for $72 Million in debt requiring annual debt service/interest payments of over $8 Million.

5. It failed to report that RBA Pop Warner girls Cheer Squad won the National Championship for the third straight year, or the Charter Day School Archery Team are the current NC state champions.

6. It failed to report that for six years Charter Day School, despite being a public school, has fully funded its own full-time Sheriff’s Deputy School Resource Officer – long before anyone else demanded it.

7. It failed to report Charter Day School in Leland and Columbus Charter School in Whiteville each have over nine hundred students enrolled for next year with over two hundred more students on waiting lists; a total of two thousand students who chose a school managed by RBA over their county schools.

Charter Day School might be slow to respond to WECT’s demand for private personnel data on our dedicated teachers. However, the premise that the NC law requires such disclosures by non-profit corporations is far from correct. The law requires no other publicly-funded nonprofit corporations, like volunteer fire departments, nonprofit medical facilities, museums, and others, to do so. Charter Schools must tread slowly until state law clarifies the issue. Please excuse our failure to meet unreasonable deadlines of some media members obsessed with sensationalism, while we focus on saving taxpayers millions of dollars each year and better educating more than two thousand Cape Fear students. How long must taxpayers wait for some media to report the real story?

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