With the opening of the new charter school, The Expedition School, in Hillsborough, one particular member of the Board of Education is voicing his concern.
Stephen H. Halkiotis, currently serving as the Chair for the Board of Education, says that though he wishes The Expedition School well as it begins its first days, he is certainly unsettled by the growing number of charter schools in North Carolina and the issues that it creates.
“I am deeply distressed,” says Halkiotis, “that the State of North Carolina and the State Legislature have chosen to continually expand charter schools in this state, but not hold them accountable to the same standards and responsibilities that our public schools have been held accountable for a long, long time.”
Halkiotis says that there are a number of necessary items that are not being addressed properly in charter schools, including transportation, food, and handicap accessibility. By ignoring these regulations, he feels that charter schools are demonstrating dishonesty.
“I think they put a twist on that to pretend that they’re really public, but they’re really not,” says Halkiotis. “Unless I’ve seen the eligibility criteria and fully understand them, I’m not convinced that charter schools are allowing an open door to each and every segment of our society, and that’s the thing that troubles me the most about them.”
When speaking on his position as Chair and how it relates to the functioning of schools like The Expedition School, Halkiotis says that the situation is about much more than himself, but about how North Carolina education is meant to be.
“It’s not about any individual, it’s about the organization,” says Halkiotis. “It’s about the institution of being a school. It’s not about me as Chair, or anybody else on that Board. We’re just seven people elected by the citizenry at large to give the best possible direction to the school system and moving our public school systems forward. That’s what I’m committed to.”
The Expedition School opened its doors yesterday at 10 a.m.
For information on The Expedition School, click here.