Education

State school board wants to keep virtual school from opening

Posted June 25, 2012

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— A Superior Court judge in Wake County heard arguments Monday about whether a virtual charter school can operate in North Carolina.

The North Carolina State Board of Education, the North Carolina School Boards Association and dozens of local school boards across the state want Judge Abraham Penn Jones to overturn Administrative Law Judge Beecher Gray's ruling in May that allows the North Carolina Virtual Academy to begin operations in August.

The state school board says it wants to study virtual schools and develop standards and policies that address "the distinct and novel challenges" they pose.

The online school – a first for the state – would be managed by K12 Inc., a for-profit Virginia company that manages online schools in 29 states.

Even though the school's application was approved only by the Cabarrus County Board of Education, students across the state, in grades as early as kindergarten, would be able to enroll.

 State school board wants to keep virtual school from opening State school board wants to keep virtual school from opening

Plaintiffs say that it would also take away public funding from traditional brick-and-mortar schools. The virtual school would receive the same amount of public funding per pupil, even though it costs less to operate than a traditional school.

With an anticipated enrollment of about 2,700 students, the virtual charter school would potentially draw $18 million in government support away from public school systems across the state.

Jones said he plans to rule on the matter Friday.

25 Comments

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  • MadMaxx Jun 26, 12:56 p.m.

    As far as the Virtual Academy, I am not so sure, however, if the state makes the rules and cannot follow them, so be it, maybe next time they will read what they wrote, and abide by THEIR rules. If the Virtual Academy had not followed up by a certain date you know the school board would have held them to that standard!

  • U2 Jun 26, 11:27 a.m.

    Here we go again, with uneducated Republicans talking about my educational system. Folks vote them out before they ruin my great state of NC

  • Plenty Coups Jun 26, 8:53 a.m.

    More great news from the land of virtual charter schools:

    "K12’s Colorado Virtual Academy has a graduation rate of 12 percent, compared with 72 percent statewide, and K12’s Ohio Virtual Academy has a 30 percent graduation rate compared with a state average of 78 percent."

    http://blog.centerforpubliceducation.org/2011/11/30/assessing-virtual-schools/

  • Plenty Coups Jun 26, 8:32 a.m.

    westernwake1-"Plenty Coups - You do realize the test results out of the K-12 virtual school program are better than 68% of the public school districts in North Carolina?"

    I doubt this is true and would like to see proof. They themselves admit to having bad scores. Certainly much lower than public schools. Why would we want this mess?

    http://www.quickanded.com/2011/04/poor-results-for-pennsylvania-online-charter-schools.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/virtual-schools-are-multiplying-but-some-question-their-educational-value/2011/11/22/gIQANUzkzN_story_3.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/online-schools-score-better-on-wall-street-than-in-classrooms.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

  • westernwake1 Jun 25, 7:55 p.m.

    Plenty Coups - You do realize the test results out of the K-12 virtual school program are better than 68% of the public school districts in North Carolina?

    "Why would we want to bring virtual charter schools here? It takes a very motivated individual to actually do lessons in front of a computer and avoid the tremendous temptations. What's more, the virtual charter schools already out there lag far behind traditional public schools in test scores. A huge amount of students enrolled in them leave when they find out its not what they imagined.No sports, no flesh and blood classmates, no face to face interaction with instructors etc. Because NC funds charter schools on a per pupil basis as an average of the first months attendance, those tax dollars are then lost. Good for the for profit virtual charter schools. Bad for students and taxpayers. Zero accountability. Why is this good?

    Read here: .... " - Plenty Coups

  • Nancy Jun 25, 7:54 p.m.

    "Socially inept society, here we come."

    As if society offers anything worth much anymore, especially on school buses and in schools.

    Spend a week hanging out at a school - I believe a child kept from that general environment would be more socially acceptable than not.

  • sandyjoprice Jun 25, 7:45 p.m.

    "Socially inept" is being bullied by a teacher's kid in 5th grade for not wearing name-brand clothing; and having your property stolen and learning lots of new profanity on the school bus,

  • sandyjoprice Jun 25, 7:29 p.m.

    I chose to home-school because I find Harnett County public schools inadequate. They have not provided the education I want for my children. A K-12 on-line school (like other states around us) would be beneficial to ensure my children do not have gaps in their curriculum.

  • mindiflowers Jun 25, 7:21 p.m.

    I think that the more choices that are offered for schooling, the better. Since virtual schooling is a part of our future then it just makes sense for NC to change the way that funding is offered to these online schools. Online schools should not be given the same funding per child as the brick and mortar schools as they take much less costs to run them.
    My son has taken online classes offered through NC public schools & he also taken classes through NCSSM Online. During this time he was also an Orange HS student. He did a great job in all of his classes. Although I can say that the virtual classes were more difficult for him to keep up with. We have been happy with all of the schooling my son received through NC and are glad that he had so many choices as well.

  • grdial Jun 25, 7:08 p.m.

    Mom of 2 daughters (5th & &7th grade) having to drive 25 miles one way to get girls to a half way decent school that appears to be safe. Both just had terrible years of new teachers, stealing in the classrooms, No teacher intervention, undisciplined behavior of others, no Grammar, tons of homework and w/me teaching them once back home. Why can't parents have a choice of who their children are exposed to and what is in the school curriculum? What ever happened to the funds from the education lottery? All we ever see are cutbacks in the classrooms, we provide our own supplies, and we aren't even given text books. Let us parents have control over our children's education and keep them in our homes safely and studying things that should be taught!!! Please allow NC to incorporate K-12 into our system!!

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