A bill requiring some low-performing public schools be turned over to private operators is making its way through the state General Assembly.

The North Carolina House has approved a bill that changes how schools are selected for the Innovative School District, a program that allows state takeover of low-performing schools.

The legislation would require the state's lowest-performing school be added to the program annually. The school would then be run by a third party, such as a charter school operator.

The News and Observer reports the bill expands the existing program beyond elementary schools to include any among the lowest-performing schools with large numbers of economically disadvantaged students.

Bill supporters say the legislation helps schools most in need of improvement. Opponents say the bill privatizes public education for financial gain.

House Bill 798 now goes to the Senate.

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