Smithfield NC - On Friday, January 14, Neuse Charter School, Johnston County’s only charter school, completed the purchase of a 26 acre campus site and gymnasium utilizing financing from Self-Help Credit Union and loan guarantees from the USDA thereby saving Johnston tax payers millions of dollars in school facility costs. North Carolina charter schools do not receive state or local funding for land, buildings or other facility needs for their students. All facility funding comes from the operational budget charter schools receive based on the per pupil enrollment at each school.
"When Neuse was first opened three and a half years ago, I don’t think anyone on the Board of Directors or the Neuse Charter family would have ever imagined we would be purchasing land with a gymnasium,” stated Chris Johnson, Chairman of the Neuse Charter School Board of Directors. "It is unbelievable how successful we have been in such a short period and it is truly a testament to the commitment and hard work of Dr. Harris, the Board of Directors, the students, families and staff of Neuse Charter."
The site is located on Booker Dairy Road and the gym was the former location of Johnston Christian Academy.
"None of this would have been possible without the assistance of many groups and organizations," continued Johnson. "First would be the leadership and congregation of First Assembly of God in Smithfield. They believed in the mission of Neuse Charter and worked with the Neuse Charter Board of Directors prior to the sale of the property. We would also like to recognize and thank Mayor Charles Hester and the Selma Town Council who was the first to truly believe in the school and offered us the current location on Noble Street. Without their commitment to the school, we wouldn’t be in this position today."
Currently North Carolina charter schools do not receive funding from local or state budgets for facilities. In 2010, North Carolina school systems spent 15 - 40 million dollars per school to construct new facilities for schools with 1200 - 1600 students. The funding of these facilities comes from increased taxes, school bonds, or other revenue streams from the local or state budgets. North Carolina charter schools provide families with choices for their children while operating efficiently to provide excellent educational programs.
Neuse Charter School was founded in 2006 and opened its doors to students in August of 2007. Neuse Charter is currently located on Noble Street in Selma and has a current enrollment of approximately 400 students mainly from Johnston County. The charter school was recognized as a 2009 North Carolina School of Distinction and 2010 North Carolina Honor School of Excellence.
Neuse Charter is a public, free-tuition school open to any child who is a legal resident of North Carolina. The school’s mission is to provide a challenging learning environment, to keep expectations high and to make sure all students achieve their maximum potential. The school offers an international studies and foreign language focus, in addition to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Currently, Neuse Charter offers grades K-9, but will add a grade per year over the next three years to become a full elementary, middle and high school program.
Further information may be obtained by visiting the school’s website, www.neusecharterschool.org or by calling Neuse Charter at 919-965-8088.