And the drain on public education funding worsens:
NCVA would offer online instruction to children across the state. As a public charter school, it would receive state and local funding for each student. The money would come at the expense of the students’ home school districts. The academy expects more than $18 million in public funding its first year, with growth in following years.
Aside from the fact this has the potential of adversely impacting the budgets of numerous school districts statewide, it looks like K-12 is just one more tentacle of ALEC:
ALEC wined and dined many of New Mexico's Republican legislators during the recent 30-day session, and ALEC authored the education bill, backed by Gov. Susana Martinez and education secretary-designate Skandera, to let K12 Inc. open "virtual" charter schools, where students take classes by computer from their homes.
Why is that a bad idea? For one, it violates a section in New Mexico law which says "a charter school shall be nonsectarian, nonreligious and non-home based public school."
For another, K12 is a multimillion-dollar corporation whose staff is only a little more than one-quarter teachers, while the other 72 percent is sales and marketing. That's an interesting choice as partner-in-education for a governor who so often squawks about using tax dollars to pay for classroom instruction, not administration.
K12 is being sued for shareholder fraud, and a New York Times expose on K12 published late last year called it "a company that tries to squeeze profits from public school dollars by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload and lowering standards." K12 gets "an average of $5,500 to $6,000 per student from state and local governments," the Times reported. But that money comes upfront, and often students who start the programs don't finish.
"With retention a problem, some teachers said they were under pressure to pass students with marginal performance and attendance," the Times said.
The NC GOP's anti-public-education obsession is all-inclusive; anything that takes money away from the traditional system, regardless of its effectiveness or legal standing, is A-OK with these numbnuts.
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