Letter of Support from Representative Graig Meyer

- NCGA House District 50

January 9, 2014

 

Dear Members of the State Board of Education,

 

I know you have heard from the parents and administration of the PACE Academy High School about their desire to keep their charter intact. I write to encourage you to keep this charter school in operation.

 

I understand that the Office of Charter Schools has concerns about PACE, and I have seen PACE’s detailed response to those concerns. I hope you agree with me that there is enough discrepancy between the two statements that it is unclear as to whether the Office of Charter Schools has a full and accurate understanding of what is happening at PACE. Given this level of confusion in the process, I believe that it is premature to revoke the charter for PACE.

 

I would also add that from my personal observation, PACE is exactly the type of charter that we want to encourage in North Carolina. I am an administrator in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and I have often stated that PACE is a good compliment to the schools in our district. PACE serves a distinct student population, one with high levels of disabilities and other academic and non-academic needs. Many students who have not found a good home in one of our traditional high schools have been more successful at PACE. To compare PACE’s performance to the achievement levels in Chapel Hill-Carrboro high schools is like comparing apples to oranges. While we want charter schools to perform at high levels, don’t we also want them to provide a credible alternative to what is already available in public schools? PACE does that.

 

This school is providing a needed service in our community. In my opinion, we should allow this school to continue in operation. If the Office of Charter Schools still has concerns about its operations, then perhaps the Office  can work with the PACE staff to address the concerns over the next year.

 

Please keep this charter intact.

 

Thank you,

 

Rep. Graig Meyer

NCGA House District 50