Washing away your sins with taxpayer dollars:
Out of 70 applicants, the recently-disbanded Public Charter School Advisory Council recommended 26 schools. Thursday, the State Board voted to also add for consideration six applicants who were interviewed but not recommended for approval by the council. One school being considered is Providence Charter High School in Rockingham County, applied for by Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., the son of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
Apparently the Bergermeister's son wants to be a schoolmeister. Proving once again that being a lawyer opens a lot of doors, and some that should probably remain shut. More about the school:
“I feel pretty good about them approving our application,” Griffith said. “I think it’s a real need here in our county and I think we have some good leadership in place to do something really good for the teenagers in our county.”
Griffith became involved after talking with District Attorney Phil Berger, Jr., who got the ball rolling on the idea. Griffith said he applied for his fifth-grade daughter to join Bethany Community Middle School.
“It makes you think, well, what’s the next step that happens when they grade out of middle school and there isn’t a charter high school in the county, where you get a little more input from your own board in terms of curriculum and establishing guidelines for a school,” Griffith said. “I think its good they have local parental control, over those.”
The application process took multiple steps with lots of research and planning. Each board member took on a portion to complete. Griffith, Berger, Ronnie Bullins, Kevin Bedard and Karol Twilla make up the interim-school board for Providence.
You won't find the following connection anywhere in the story above, or anywhere in their application either, it's a good bet. But three of those five interim board members are on the staff of Osborne Baptist Church:
Senior Pastor: Pastor Steve (Griffith) has been the Senior Pastor at OBC since 1992. He is a graduate of Berea College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
High School Director: Kevin (Bedard) joined our staff in 2010. He is a graduate of Elon University and has a Master’s degree from UNC-Greensboro. Kevin originally joined our staff as our Recreation and Family ministries Director but now serves as our Youth Director.
Adult Discipleship Director: Ronnie (Bullins) joined the OBC staff in April 2013. He serves as the Adult Discipleship Director. Ronnie was called to the church after 23 years in manufacturing and logistics management. He is certified in financial counseling and clinical discipleship and he is extremely excited to serve in the ministry at OBC.
Granted, very often in rural areas people who are involved in business together also attend the same church. But in this case anyway, it appears that organized religion is also involved in organizing this school. And the lack of oversight built in to the charter school formula opens the door (wide) for misuse of taxpayer dollars in support of religion-based instruction.