Cooper vetoes NC bill altering charter schools board makeup

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks from the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo via N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation on Monday that would slightly rework the state panel that recommends whether charter schools can open or should be shuttered.

Currently two of the 11 voting members of the Charter Schools Advisory Board are chosen by the State Board of Education. The governor picks nearly all voting positions on the State Board of Education.

The bill would have given the education board just one spot to fill, while the superintendent of public instruction or her designate would receive another voting position. Currently the superintendent or her designate is a nonvoting member to the advisory board, which also recommends rules on how charter schools should operate or be monitored.

“The State Board of Education is constitutionally and statutorily charged with administering children’s education in state public schools, including charter schools,” Cooper wrote in his veto message. “It is critical that the board have both of their appointments to the (charter schools) board to carry out its constitutional duties.”

Both the House and Senate approved the bill by what would be veto-proof majorities, so an override is possible. But Cooper has been known to consolidate his support before override attempts by Republican legislative leaders. Cooper, a Democrat, has vetoed five bills this year. There have been no overrides so far.

The governor signed seven other bills into law on Monday, including the General Assembly’s annual regulatory reform legislation. Another places restrictions on another category of certain sex offenders so that they must steer clear of schools, child care centers and places where youths congregate.

And another measure signed by the governor allows more state or university law enforcement agencies to sell surplus weapons to federal licensed gun dealers.