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K12, Inc. makes its case at the legislature tomorrow

A for-profit online education company will be at the legislature tomorrow to give a pitch to lawmakers about the virtual public charter schools it runs, and profits from, in more than 30 other states.

An executive from K12, Inc., a Wall Street-traded company that gets the bulk of its revenue from running online public schools, is slated to make a presentation Tueaday at the Joint Legislative Education Oversight committee. The hearing begins at 10 am. Tuesday in room 643 of the Legislative Office Buildling.

(Steaming audio of the meeting will be available here, and a copy of the commitee’s agenda is here.)

Mary Gifford, the company’s senior vice-president for education policy scheduled to speak to lawmakers, also spoke last week in front of a virtual charter school study group assembled to craft recommendations for the State Board of Education of how the online-only schools should operate in North Carolina.

At that meeting, Gifford acknowledged low graduation and performance rates K12,Inc.-run schools have had in other states, saying that the company’s schools tend to attract low performing students and the home-based system of education can do little to help those high-school students.

“High school is a nightmare,” Gifford told the virtual charter study group last Tuesday. Forty percent of the students in high school will be very successful.”

K12, Inc. has made its interest in North Carolina’s public education market clear. The company, through  non-profit groups set to house a proposed K12-run virtual charter school, is awaiting a decision from the N.C. Supreme Court to see if the state’s highest court will take up an appeal to open a virtual charter school.

The group, along with another non-profit backed by another online education company Connections Academy, is applying to open up a virtual charter school in fall of 2015. To learn more, click on this link for an  N.C. Policy Watch article from last week.

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