Closure of New Schools will have little impact on Early College

By Nicholas Elmes -

County school officials are saying that news that NC New Schools abruptly stopped operations last Friday will have little impact on the Stokes Early College High School.

NC New Schools, which provides funding to start early college programs and a variety of professional development services, announced last Thursday that it would be closing after 13 years of operations.

In a press release the non-profit organization said recent rapid growth of operations and expansion into four other states had resulted in cash flow problems leading to an unsustainable business model.

Stokes County Interim Superintendent Stewart Hobbs said despite initial panic over the surprise announcement, the closure would not have a major impact on the operation of the Stokes Early College High School which received about $315,000 in funding through NC New Schools each year.

“The latest thing we received from the North Carolina Department of Instruction was the funding would still be allocated to all school districts,” he said noting that the system paid NC New Schools $47,000 out of the grant funds each year for professional development. “We are not close to having to close the school. Most of it is self sustaining now and the teachers and principle are funded through the state just like the other schools.

“I don’t think it will be a problem as long as the legislature still supports the funding that comes through DPI to the schools,” he added. “There are so many early colleges and innovative high schools across the state that we will be fine.”

School Finance Director Lanette Moore said the school system used the $315,000 in grant funding that had been funneled through NC New Schools to cover salaries for guidance counselors, clerical personnel and a liaison with Forsyth Tech as well as textbook and supply costs at the Stokes County Early College

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes

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