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State Releases Salary Information Of Charter School Holdouts

Lisa Worf

The salaries of public school employees are public information, but some charter schools have resisted supplying those records. It took a directive from the governor and a warning from the North Carolina Board of Education to get names and salaries of school staff from a few holdouts. 

Charter Day School has four schools in eastern North Carolina. It contracts with the for-profit company Roger Bacon Academy to run the schools. Up until last week, the company would not turnover how much they paid specific principals and assistant principals.  

The Governor signed a bill in August that clarified charters must provide this information. He added that includes those operated by management companies. Roger Bacon Academy disagreed. 

A couple weeks ago, the state board of education placed the four schools on probationary status.                   

“It’s important for the public to know how their tax dollars are being spent,” says Board Chairman Bill Cobey. “All traditional and many of the public charter schools have supplied that information for years.” 

The schools handed over the information last week, but marked them as trade secrets and therefore not public. The state disagreed and released the names and salaries this week. 

After all that, Cobey says the salaries don’t set off any alarms. They range from an assistant principal making $42,500 a year to a principal making $84,596. 

“I didn’t see exorbitant amounts paid to anyone who’s an administrator,” says Cobey. 

But now no one has to guess about that. 

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.