GREENSBORO -- While state lawmakers are continuing to hash out legislation that would affect charter school policies, the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association is hosting its annual conference in Greensboro for over 700 educators.
The event focuses on teacher workshops and seminars. But this year, there is a large focus on the future of these schools, since lawmakers are in the process of reviewing bills that would affect funding and regulations.
"We would like more equitable funding," Eddie Goodall, executive director for the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association said. "We're still having difficulties, especially schools starting out that have no pre-funding whatsoever. We've got 23 schools opening in August that still have received no state funds whatsoever."
That could affect their ability to hire teachers and purchase books and supplies.
Currently, charter schools operate as an independent public school with their own curriculum separate from the school district. So another bill facing the senate is whether to institute a charter school advisory board at the state level.
"Because charter schools are unique and we've lifted the cap on charter schools, it's sensible to have a separate board oversee the development and operation of charter schools and to give feedback to the board of education," state house representative John Hardister said.
So while legislators continue to debate these issues, educators at the conference are keeping their focus on the future.
"We'd like help with facilities," Goodall said. "We'd like to share in the lottery funding, but again, for this weekend, we're focusing on networking and honoring our teachers."
The conference runs through Tuesday and is open to the public.