North Carolina policymakers are putty in the hands of Art Pope, the zillionaire libertarian who funds the John Locke Institute and is also state budget director. Bill Moyers featured him in an exposé and Jane Mayer of the New Yorker wrote an article about his successful takeover of the state, in which he successfully defeated moderate Republicans with extremists to his liking.

The far-out anti-public sector Legislature is intent on advancing privatization. They work from the ALEC script, having passed a law that allows a charter-friendly state “advisory” board to override local school boards that might be so rash as to protect their local public schools.

This is context to explain how a developer who built a gated community got permission to open a charter school right outside the gates of his community. He wanted to build it inside the gates, but the advisory committee thought that might give the wrong impression. The developer, by the way, is an old friend of Vice President Joe Biden, whose brother Frank Biden is involved with a for-profit charter chain called Mavericks.

The developer and his board were turned down by the local school board, one of the worst funded districts in the state. The charter will take funds from the district. Nonetheless, the district was squashed by the state advisory committees, which welcomes more charters, regardless of the fiscal impact on the local public schools.

Unlike public schools, where 100% of teachers must be certified, charters need hire only 50% certified teachers. You can tell this is real “reform” because the standards for teachers are lower.

The charter will be run by a guy who ran another charter that was closed because of financial problems.

Really, folks, you can’t make this stuff up.