Maimone appointed to council

Aug. 31, 2013 @ 04:41 AM

Joe Maimone, headmaster of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA), has been appointed by Governor Pat McCrory to the newly constructed Charter School Advisory Council.

“I am honored to serve in this important role to help our state assure that public charter schools continue to grow and expand in our state in an effective and responsible manner,” Maimone said.

Maimone got the call from the governor last week and agreed to a four-year term on the advisory council.

“I was on the old advisory board that was set up a couple of years ago by House Speaker Thom Tillis at the time. That was two years ago,” Maimone said. “In this legislative session they disbanded the old council and started a charter school board, which carried more weight to it, directly reporting to the state board of education.”

Maimone said he was reluctant to take the position because of the travel requirements and the time, but he agreed because he believes there is a lot of work to be done in the charter school system.

The charter school cap of 100 was removed in 2011, so one of the board’s responsibilities will be recommending to the North Carolina State Board of Education which charter schools should be allowed to open in 2015.

“With the cap completely removed on charter school growth, we will have an important job in managing growth in a way that can maximize the benefits of school choice for all 1.5 million students in North Carolina while maintaining a high quality public education for all students at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer that assures efficiency and results,” Maimone said. “I really believe in the mission of charter schools and school choice in our state and I’m honored to be a part of helping that move forward.”

Maimone will attend monthly meetings in Raleigh and says the applications will begin coming in for the next charter school cycle in November.

“I’m a firm believer in high quality charter schools. We want to be careful that you don’t open the flood gates and allow schools that really don’t know what they are doing. They could give the charter school movement a bad name,” Maimone said.

Maimone has been headmaster of TJCA for 15 years. He said there are three major criteria that will help the board determine if a school will be successful; good education plans, good business practices and good governance practices.

“We currently have 130 charter schools operating in the state, we are slated for about another 30 to open next year and who knows in the 2015 cycle how many applicants we might have,” Maimone said. “It looks like when the floodgates open we will see more and more coming. I believe that’s a good thing but I do think it’s important that we make sure these are well run and properly run schools to provide the education that we all want for our kids.”