Lt. Governor Dan Forest Presents Hispanic Outreach Task Force Findings

Raleigh

Today, Lt. Governor Dan Forest presented the Hispanic Outreach Task Force findings surrounding Hispanic participation in Public Charter Schools at the State Board of Education Meeting.  The presentation focused on why Hispanics are underserved in public charter schools, using research and analysis of studies and focus groups from around the nation, as well as surveys conducted in North Carolina. 

The recommendations of the task force were as follows:

For the General Assembly

•          Form a study committee to address equal representation of ethnic demographics in public charter schools

•          Equal funding for charter schools

 

For the Office of Charter School and the Charter School Advisory Board

•          Outreach and grassroots organizing is needed to spread the word about charter school options

•          Encourage charter entities to seek out specific communities

•          For high populated areas offer Spanish translations on public charters’ websites & applications

•          Formation of a Hispanic/Minority Advisory Board to advise the OCS

 

For the Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education

•          Statewide policy requiring LEAs and Public Charters to inform new students of all public school opportunities

•          Yearlong media advertising campaign to showcase public school options

•           Change application process so that applications can be tracked by demographic information (if parents elect to fill out info)

•          Provide translation tools on DPI's website

•          PR campaign to clear up misconceptions about charters amongst educators and administration

•          Provide additional support in after school programing (21st Century Grants etc.)

•          Include additional research in future reports (offer nationwide comparisons)

•          In all references to Charters refer to as “Public Charter Schools”

 

“Through the work of this task force, we have a greater understanding of why Hispanics are so disproportionally underserved in public charter schools.  The research shows that this is not only an issue in North Carolina, but nationwide.  Due to lack of outreach, confusion of what school choice is, and misinformation about public charter schools, many in the Hispanic community have not even attempted to explore these options.  It is my hope that the work of this task force does not end today but rather serves as the catalyst of a statewide outreach plan that targets not only Hispanics, but all minorities, to educate them on all public school options.  By doing so, it is my belief that we can replicate the success found in Florida, a state that has tackled this issue head on, increasing Hispanic participation in public charter schools by almost 20% in the past few years.” -Lt. Governor Dan Forest