Charter schools costing Pitt Co. schools millions of dollars

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Pitt County Board of Education found out just how much charter schools are costing them each year during their Monday meeting.

In total, Pitt County Schools will lose around $3 million this year in state and local funding. Last year, only 293 students in Pitt County were attending charter schools. This year, that number has grown to 758, thanks in part to the opening of the Winterville Charter Academy.

Each student that leaves county schools reduces the district’s funding by around $5,000 from the state, and $1,500 from the county.

Despite these losses, Debera Baggett, interim Finance Officer for Pitt County Schools, said they were able to plan ahead of time.

“We had worked with the Winterville Charter and got the addresses of their students, so we kind of knew which of our elementary schools would be impacted,” Bagett said.

Baggett said they cut around 20 teacher positions due to the reductions in funding.

Of the charter schools in the area, Winterville Charter Academy, with 448 students, and Washington Montessorie, with 113 students, had the greatest impact on Pitt County School’s enrollment numbers.

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