Remember when the for-profit K12, Inc. wanted to open up a virtual school in North Carolina, paid with public education dollars?
Well, they still want to.
There will be a hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the N.C. Court of Appeals in Raleigh about the company’s 2012 attempt to open up an online school in North Carolina. The application was sidelined by the N.C. State Board of Education (click here, here and here for background on K12, Inc. in North Carolina).
For those unfamiliar with K12, Inc., the fairly controversial company has a profitable system of running online-based charter schools across the nation, but has been subject to accusations of putting profits over quality in how it runs the public schools. On the flip side, the company and its supporters of their brand of online education say that the criticism is unfair, and the schools work well for many students struggling in traditional schools.
The main gist of the court arguments Wednesday will likely be around whether the state board was justified in not acting on a 2012 application from N.C. Learns, a non-profit group set up by K12, Inc. to host the school.
The state board has argued that it was not obligated to review the application because K12, Inc. and N.C. Learns chose an unconventional route for approval and then submitted their request after the announced time period for applications had lapsed.
But N.C. Learns, who has been represented by Republican. State Sen. Fletcher Hartsell in court, contends it took its cues directly from state law and and the state board, which never responded to the application, was legally required to act.
An administrative law judge sided with K12, Inc., a Wake Superior Court judge sided with the state board of education, and now the appellate court will have its chance to weigh in.
In K12, Inc.-related news, our neighbor to the west, Tennessee, blocked the company this week from opening up a second online charter school in the state, according to this report from a Knoxville television station.