- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

Half of NC school boards now lined up against virtual charter

At least 60 public school boards have joined a legal action seeking to stop a Wall Street-run virtual charter school from opening in the state. That number is expected to climb in coming weeks.

The N.C. Virtual Academy, [1] which will have its curriculum and day-to-day management provide by K12, Inc., is slated to open this fall after an administrative judge ruled that the N.C. State Board of Education erred by not handling the charter school’s application in a timely manner.

The state is appealing that decision, and joining them in opposition are the N.C. School Boards Association. A Wake County Superior Court judge will hear the appeal the week of June 25.

Sixty of the state’s 115 school boards have passed resolutions joining the litigation, largely out of concerns about funding and the quality of education offered by the full-time school that teaches children from their home computers.

The News & Observer [2]reported today that the  school board for the largest school district, Wake County, voted 5-4 this week to join the lawsuit.

From the N&O article:

A majority of North Carolina school systems, including Wake County, are joining the State Board of Education’s effort to prevent the opening of an online charter school that could divert more than $34 million a year in taxpayer dollars away from traditional public schools.

It’s a battle that’s pitting charter school supporters and a for-profit company that would run the academy against the state’s education establishment.

In addition to being the first online charter school in the state, the North Carolina Virtual Academy is vying to be the largest charter with as many as 6,526 kindergarten through high school students from across the state, a population larger than many of the state’s school districts.