Accelify Blog

Ruling Forces I-SS to Pay Area Charter Schools (NC)

May 18, 2010

A 2009 court ruling has forced Iredell-Statesville Schools to give retroactive funding to nine regional charter schools.

I-SS will provide $629,751 in back pay in order to comply with the decision made in the February 2009 Sugar Creek Cha rter School vs. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education lawsuit.

"The timing on this for us isn’t good," I-SS Superintendent Brady Johnson said. "It couldn’t be worse for us."

The payments will be taken from I-SS’s fund balance, a quasi "rainy day" savings account. The payout comes at a time when I-SS’s budget picture is muddled at best.
The lawsuit, whose ruling was in favor of charter schools, alleged the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system had underfunded the schools from 2001-05.

The schools claimed CMS had used different per-pupil funding formulas for calculating allotments for public schools and charter schools.

All schools receiving funds from CMS were required to submit enrollment numbers on a monthly basis, which were used to adjust the amount given to them monthly by the district.

The lawsuit claimed public school funding was based on enrollment taken only at the beginning of the school year, thus putting the charter schools at a funding disadvantage.

The lawsuit also claimed CMS did not properly disperse funding available to charter schools.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals decided all local school districts must pay a pro-rated share of the current expense funds to area charter schools.

These are the payments I-SS will make:
+ American Renaissance, $342,231
+ Community School of Davidson, $39,662
+ Lake Norman Charter, $3,492
+ Lincoln Charter School, $1,981
+ Pine Lake Preparatory, $181,680
+ Success Charter Institute, $59,346
+ Gray Stone Day, $284.88
+ Metrolina Regional Scholars, $615.57
+ Grandfather Academy, $455.51
"The timing is terrible and it hits us at a time we’re already facing deep budget cuts," Johnson said.
Success Charter Institute Principal Tenna Williams said the school’s board of directors hasn’t decided how it will use the additional funding.
"It’s a blessing because we can use those funds," Williams said. "There are a lot of things we need."
She said the school has always operated off basic funds and struggled to keep personnel paid, but the new funding will be helpful.
Pine Lake Preparatory Head of Schools Kate Alice Dunaway said her school will receive additional funding from five local education agencies as a result of the ruling.
"We will be using these funds to support our current instructional programs," she said.
Discussions for use of funds will take place in July, she said.

Additional payments I-SS should have made to area charter schools, per the court ruling:

American Renaissance School
2006-07- $96,301
2007-08- $136,932
2008-09- $108,997

Community School of Davidson
2006-07- $7,705
2007-08- $15,394
2008-09- $16,561

Lake Norman Charter
2006-07- $199
2007-08- $1,709
2008-09- $1,584

Lincoln Charter School
2006-07 – $802
2007-08- $616
2008-09- $562

Pine Lake Prep
2006-07- no funding*
2007-08- $35,029
2008-09- $146,651

Success Charter Institute
2006-07- $16,660
2007-08- $23,200
2008-09- $19,485

Gray Stone Day
2006-07- no funding*
2007-08- $284
2008-09- no funding*

Metrolina Regional Scholars
2006-07- $358
2007-08- $257
2008-09- no funding*

Grandfather Academy
2006-07- no funding*
2007-08- $131
2008-09- $324

* — "no funding" indicates there were no I-SS students enrolled in the school that year.