Neuse Charter School Seeking $8 Million From Johnston County Commissioners

Artist rendering of a new elementary classroom building at Neuse Charter School.

SMITHFIELD – Johnston County Commissioners have been asked to help fund construction of a new elementary classroom building at Neuse Charter School.

Neuse Charter opened in 2007 to 175 students in a temporary location in Selma. In 2011, the school moved to a permanent location in Smithfield. Today, nearly 900 students are enrolled.

Superintendent Dr. Melissa Blackwell said for 17 years students have been forced to learn how to do more with less.

In August 2023, the NC General Assembly approved legislation allowing counties to provide funding to charter schools for several specific purposes, including acquisition, construction, renovation, or the replacement of buildings.

During the 2022-23 fiscal year, Neuse Charter had a total revenue of $8,904,449. Seventy-eight percent of the funding was spent on instruction, well above the average of 55 to 65 percent.

Dr. Blackwell asked commissioners to fund $8 million for the construction of a 25,354 sq. ft. two-story 20 classroom building.

Currently, 89 percent of Neuse Charter students reside in Johnston County. Thirty-two percent of the students live in Smithfield, 28% in Clayton, 18% Selma, 5% Four Oaks, 3% Benson, and 3% Princeton.

Commissioners took no action on the funding request.


  1. The 28% that live in Clayton should find a charter/private school to go to around there
    Also if you can not afford to have that many kids then quit excepting them. There is plenty of schools
    Also why don’t you make it public what the salaries are of everyone that works there
    There is a school being built in Wilson mills that half of those kids can go to. You call it a lottery that the kids have to be in to be selected to go to that school So quit asking for funding from the county to pay for your private school

  2. Hi,If you do your research you will know that this is a charter school. Charter schools are not private they are public. They got the right to ask for funds from the state. PS. that is a good name for you.

  3. Nuese charter, American Leadership academy, Thales Academy are all expanding because decent parents are sick of the political agenda going on in Joco public schools. The board of education should take notice….that is when they’re not too busy trying to fight each other and point fingers. Do your job or resign , all of you.

    • Your right kids are forced to read LGBTQ books and Drag Queens are frequent guests in library storytelling in our public schools to confuse our kids with gender bending and history class no longer mentioning slavery or racism like it didn’t happen and meantime our public schools are segregated our Charter Schools are mostly white while JoCo public made up mostly Black and Latinos

      • Dear Duke,
        When is the last time you attended a story time at a public school library? If you did, you realize that there’s no drag queens to be found. Apparently you have been drinking too much of the right wing political BS Kool-Aid

  4. @Stupid it’s accepting, not excepting 🤦🏾‍♀️🤦‍♀️ Plus, never mind- i agree with Smarter, you have the perfect name!

  5. Charter schools are free and not private. All welcomed. There’s a reason why charter schools (again they are public) growing.

  6. Is Neuse Charter a for profit school? I realize they are a public school however, most charter schools are for profit. ALA is a school that makes profits off the students and families. If this is the case, Neuse should not be receiving any funding from the local government beyond what the state and federal government require.

    • “Neuse Charter School is the only locally operated, non-profit public K-12 charter school in Johnston County.”

    • How do schools make profits from students and families if they are tuition free (ALA is tuition free)?

    • How do they make profits from students and families when they are tuition free? (ALA is a tuition free school)

  7. The county can step up and help. NCS helps to keep student enrollment down for JCPS. The money NCS saves the JCPS surely can be put back into funding a new building. My daughter did attend there years ago and they did the best with what they had. It was an amazing place for education and parent involvement. My daughter ended up at Princeton Elementary and there was little to no parent involvement. I was disappointed after feeling so involved at NCS. JOCO can invest in these students future we are all one county and we all pay an absurd amount in taxes and other fees put some of that money in NCS it will be a win win for all.

    • @kittysmom
      Parent involvement starts with the PARENT not the school. If you want more parent involvement then get involved. I’m tired of parents complaining about schools and books because they are to lazy to to the the job of PARENTING!!! because they expect someone else to do it for them.

      • But you get more parental involvement when they feel the school cares…. Hence why they send them to private/charter schools. Public schools care about perception and optics, not about students or parents. They care about teaching kids what to think not how to think.

        • Tom, to that I say BS. Parental involvement starts with the parent, includes the parent, and should be encouraged and planned by the parent. STOP BLAMING the school for not doing the parent’s job of being a parent!!!!!!

          • Well, to some extent I do agree. It is not the job of the school to do the parents job. In fact, more and more parents have abdicated their responsibilities to the school. We call these children, “public school students”. My point was that parents send their kids to charter, private and home school because they want to be involved with the school but they see the hypocrisy, bureaucracy and “idiocracy” of public schools. I feel for those parents who don’t have the means financially or ability to send them to the better charter, private.

  8. Neuse Charter School has a lot less drama than the public schools, with regards to both Students and Parents. The Board and the Admin are always accessible to not just hear, but talk and have meaningful conversations with the parents. On the downside, there is no cafeteria, so you have to pay for food to be catered in. It gets expensive. There are no buses. I travel 55 miles round trip everyday to take my child to school. The teachers are paid less than public school teachers because they do not get the County Pay Subsidy that Public School teachers get. I pulled my child out of public school due to a meeting we had with our child’s teachers and the admin at the public school. “Some kids are just average and you have to accept that.” < from the asst. principal all while the teacher (who had over 30 years) was sitting in the meeting eating her lunch and talking with her mouth full. This was the same teacher that cussed her 3rd grade students daily. If we hadn't found Neuse, we would have homeschooled our child. Our child now makes A's & B's. Just to note, my father, my two older children, and I went to this same school, with no issues. The system is broken when schools just worry about THEIR overall school grade on testing and not the individual student. This is the difference at Neuse Charter School.

    • What needs to be realized is that as the population grows for the school so will the same issues that you have with “public” schools. Watch what you wish for!

  9. Neuse Charter is a gem that is keeping educational tradition alive. It’s evident that parents want their kids there to remove themselves from the political ideology of the county schools. I have a niece that left a JoCo county high school for Neuse Charter because of bullying. Well guess what, the bulling was never dealt with (you can guess why) and she was told to just ignore them. She flourished at Neuse because social agendas are not priority.

  10. Not with my tax dollars. I’m tired of paying taxes for someone else’s rug rats!! And why are/should we be paying for the 11% of students that don’t live in JoCo with our tax dollars?

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