A Winston-Salem charter school has become an unlikely basketball powerhouse in recent years, winning three national high school championships and sending more than a dozen former players on to Division 1 colleges.
But the success of Quality Education Academy‘s boys basketball team rests on a strategy prohibited at most public schools—recruiting top players throughout the nation and world.
It also offers a window into the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s struggles to hold charter schools accountable as the schools become a larger piece of the state’s public education system.
An N.C. Policy Watch investigation found two-thirds of the players on Quality Education Academy’s basketball rosters from 2008 to present came from other states and nations to attend the K-12 school. Their educations were subsidized by taxpayers who sent $13.2 million in state, federal and local funding to the school for the same time period, according to state education estimates and budgets provided by the school.