The Virtual Public Schools Act, which authorized the creation of the Tennessee Virtual Academy run by K12, Inc. is set to expire this year.
Already, legislation (HB 4) has been filed to extend the Act until 2019. No Senate companion yet exists, but it seems likely that K12, Inc.’s top legislative champion, Senate Education Committee Chair Dolores Gresham, will carry the bill in the Senate.
The Tennessee Virtual Academy has come under fire the last several years as its students have posted the lowest scores in academic achievement in the state. The situation is so bad that this year, former Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman recommended the school not be allowed to enroll additional students.
The Union County School Board (the system that hosts TNVA) denied that request and collected a check from K12, Inc.
I’d anticipate significant pushback this year against any unchecked continuation of K12, Inc.’s operation in Tennessee. That said, both legislators and Governor Haslam have expressed concerns in the past only to see K12, Inc. continue with business as usual.
Will K12’s lobbyists be successful this year, or will this legislative session finally put a cap on the unchecked growth of TNVA?
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