A report released Thursday blasts K-12, Inc.-backed California Virtual Academies (CAVA), that state’s largest provider of online education, for producing few graduates and directing large amounts of revenue toward advertising, executive salaries and profit — while paying its teachers less than half the average wage traditional public school teachers earn.
“It is too easy for kids to fall through the cracks in CAVA’s current online schooling system,” said Donald Cohen, executive director for In the Public Interest, the Washington-based think tank that penned the report. “We are calling on California to immediately increase oversight of online education to ensure students are receiving a quality education.”
Notable findings of the report include:
- In every year since it began graduating students, except 2013, CAVA has had less than a 50 percent graduation rate, while California’s traditional public school graduation rate has hovered around 80 percent;
- Some CAVA students log into their virtual classroom for as little as one minute a day, which is enough to give the charter its daily attendance revenue from the state;
- While K12 Inc. paid almost $11 million total to its top six executives in 2011-12, the average CAVA teacher salary was $36,150 that same year — close to half of average teacher pay in California; and
- In December 2011, the California Charter Schools Association called for the closure of CAVA in Kern County because the school did not meet its renewal standards.