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Moody corrects charter school statement

Staff report

SALISBURY — At Monday’s Salisbury-Rowan Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Lynn Moody made a public correction regarding a statement she issued at the board’s Jan. 10 work session.

While discussing charter schools, Moody said that should a local charter school be forced to close, the district would be legally obligated to absorb all its resources — including its debt.

“It was my understanding that we incurred that debt,” Moody said in an interview Thursday.

But on Jan. 17, Moody received an email from Lee Teague, executive director of the N.C. Association for Public Charter Schools, who said that is not the case.

According to a state statute, “No indebtedness of any kind incurred or created by the charter school shall constitute an indebtedness of the state or its political subdivisions, and no indebtedness of the charter school shall involve or be secured by the faith, credit or taxing power of the state or its political subdivisions.”

“The agreement granting a charter by the state to all the nonprofit corporations holding charters contains similar language. The statute also requires this language be included in every debt obligation or lease into which a charter school enters,” Teague wrote, “As you can see, state law affirmatively provides that charter school debt does not constitute a debt of the state or its subdivisions. That would include local school districts.”

According to Teague, if a charter school closes, its assets are sold to pay creditors. If there is any remaining debt, the creditors absorb the loss.

“I think when you make a mistake and you say it in public, I think you need to apologize in public,” Moody said Monday.

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