Letter: East Spencer school isn’t getting 400 new students

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 24, 2020

I was surprised to read that the budget presented by Rowan County Manager Aaron Church to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners included $797,694 for charter schools in the county.

There is only one state approved charter school in Rowan County, the Essie Mae Kiser Foxx school that was chartered in 2017. The population for that school is about 120 students in the current year with projections for 200 next year. Where the figures for a projection of 715 for next year came from is a mystery.

I find the numbers in this report somewhat confusing. It states that Rowan-Salisbury Schools are projected to lose 22 students, Kannapolis City Schools will gain 1 student, and charter schools will gain 391 students with no explanation where these charter school students will be coming from.

As a longtime supporter of Essie’s school, I am concerned that the public will assume that this little school will take almost 400 students and almost $800,000 from the RSS next year. This is far from the facts. According to public record, the school receives about $800 per pupil, for a total of approximately $97,000 per year from the county.

I have asked Mr. Church for an explanation of this budget item. I would like the public to know where, exactly, that funding is going.

— Nan Lund