K12 and Virtual Academy put students first

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An editorial in The Gazette about the online public school Virginia Virtual Academy makes a number of wrong claims. It is children, not online learning provider K12 Inc., who benefitted most from the academy.
K12 Inc. was disappointed in Carroll County’s decision to no longer offer the academy, but it was not because of K12.  In fact, K12’s academy program boasts high parent satisfaction and a long waiting list.
Thousands of districts in the U.S., including many in Virginia, use K12 for courses and digital learning programs. K12’s mission is to partner with teachers and educators to help meet the educational needs of children.
The editorial incorrectly claims the academy “took advantage of Carroll” and suggests K12 “promised” Carroll a $500 registration fee for out of district students. Not true. The fee was imposed by Carroll over K12’s objections. We don’t believe families should have to pay for access to any public school.
The real problem is that state lawmakers have failed to provide the structure and support necessary for school districts to offer these much needed digital learning programs. We hope they act quickly.
Many children choose online schools because they struggled in traditional schools, experienced bullying, or have disabilities or special needs. Parents want options like the virtual academy for their children, and the dedicated teachers and school leaders at K12 want to serve them.
Jeff Kwitowski
Senior Vice President, K12 Inc.

Editor’s note: The editorial originated from The Roanoke Times and was shared with our readers as a matter of interest.