2 bills in NC House would bolster charter schools

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A pair of bills in the North Carolina House would allow local school boards to create charter schools and form more flexible arrangements with district-run schools.

The bills are intended to help bridge the divide between public and charter schools. Republican Rep. Donny Lambeth of Winston-Salem sponsors both bills.

The first would establish a pilot program allowing some local school boards to approve charters and convert their own schools to a charter format. Under existing law, only the State Board of Education has ultimate approval.

The second bill would allow districts to create schools operating under special curricula, budgets and admissions criteria. That's currently possible only with failing district schools.

Response from some charter organizations and groups that have been critical of charters in the past has been supportive.

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