On Monday, April 15, a diverse coalition of leaders from across the state will gather in Greensboro for the announcement of their support of NC House Bill 199 – a bill sponsored by state Rep. Jon Hardister that calls for providing charter schools in North Carolina with equal access to transportation funding.

Advocates for the bill are calling it “a bipartisan effort to provide charter schools with permanent funding for busing to provide a positive educational experience for students.”  The move would help charter schools compete on a more equal footing with public schools since it would offer some state funding for busing students to and from charter schools.

On April 15 at 10:00 a.m., the group will hold a press conference at Next Generation Academy at 1414 Cliffdale Ave. in Greensboro. The speakers backing the bill will include political, religious, business and education leaders from across the state.

The event is being organized by the Douglass Leadership Institute and Frederick Douglass Foundation of North Carolina – a grassroots education and public policy 501(c)(3) organization with a philosophy that is, according to a press release announcing the event, “based upon righteousness, justice, liberty and virtue,” and with a belief that “educational choice and reform is vital to the long-term success of North Carolina’s children.”

At the Monday morning press conference, Hardister will speak along with many others.  Some of those expected to speak out in favor of the bill at the event are Bishop Adrian Starks of the World Victory International Church; Rev. Odell Cleveland, the president of Cal Tee Solution; Kevrick McKain, vice president of the Douglass Leadership Institute; Dennis English, the former director of the NC Office for Historically Underutilized Business; Clarence Henderson, president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of NC; Addul Ali, a Davidson County business owner and charter school advocate, and Sebastian King a board member of the Next Generation Academy who was recently appointed as the executive director of the Guilford County Republican Party.