|by Diane Ravitch|
North Carolina is a plum market for the online for-profit charter industry.
Today, the state board of education agreed to allow them to open in the state but set some limits.
Here is a link to a report on the decision by North Carolina Policy Watch:
"Virtual charter schools will face restrictions if they want to open up in North Carolina.
The N.C. State Board of Education voted today to adopt a policy that would require the online-based schools to adhere to a significantly lower funding formula ($3504 per student) than brick-and-mortar charter schools, maintain high graduation rates and low withdrawal rates of students. Schools will also need to keep a ratio of one teacher for every 50 students and keep graduation rates within 10 percent of the state average (80 percent), and can’t have withdrawal rates higher than 15 percent in two out of three years."
Some legislators were unhappy that the state board of education imposed restrictions on the industry. Online charters get dismal results, but they are heavily favored by Jeb Bush and Bob Wise, and of course, the technology industry. They are also a favorite cause of the far-right organization ALEC, which counts some N.C. legislators among its members.
Two for-profit online corporations have already sent letters of intent to the state board of education: Connections, which is owned by Pearson; and K12, which is owned by the Milken brothers and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Both have hired lobbyists to help them in the legislature, which may eliminate the restrictions imposed by the state board of education.
The bottom line: ALEC and for-profit corporations win, kids in N.C. lose.