As I have reported at 10th Period previously, K-12, Inc. is utterly dependent upon Ohio's Charter School funding system to prop up its operations. That is because Ohio's Charter School system pays virtual schools, like OHVA, as if they had brick-and-mortar expenses, when they do not.
Now the question is whether Ohio will take its cue from Florida and scrutinize K-12, Inc's operation here, especialy given that OHVA educates about as many children as the Lorain City Schools.
North Carolina Policy Watch has a good rundown of K-12, Inc.'s most recent list of problems.
"The market reacted swiftly to Tuesday’s report about the Florida investigation, and K12 stock (NYSE:LRN) had one of the biggest drops on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, losing 13 percent of its value and ending at $20.31 a share, according to the Associated Press.
The company, once a favorite of Wall Street investors for its fast growth and high profit margins, has suffered a series of blows over the last year, after the New York Times and Washington Post both published extensive stories that questioned the company put profits over providing quality education to public school students.
The company is now facing a class-action investor lawsuit as well, accusing K12’s top officials of lying to investors about the viability and quality of its online education programs.
Earlier this year, a study by the National Education Policy Center found that students at K12, Inc.-run schools are fell behind their public school counterparts in math and reading. A Tennessee legislator called that state’s decision to open a K12-run school a ““a risky experiment that blew up in our face” earlier this week when test scores showed the school fell in the bottom 4 percent in the state.
The FCIR report also points out that the NCAA is no longer accepting credits from K12’s Aventa Learning, which offers online classes that student-athletes had used to fill in gaps in their academic records.
In Georgia, the company has also come under fire for running afoul of state and federal guidelines for disabled and special education students, according to The Financial Investigator, an investor news blog that’s written extensively about K12. The blog first wrote about the Florida troubles on Sept. 4, and had obtained records from Florida education officials about the teacher certification issues through a public records request.
The Office of the Georgia School Superintendent has threatened to terminate the K12-run Georgia Cyber Academy’s charter with the state unless the online school reduces its teacher-student ratios, hires more staff to help students with disabilities and irons out some financial issues, according to an Aug. 7 letter from the state agency posted by the Financial Investigator."No word on what kind of impact this will have on OHVA. However, perhaps the Ohio Department of Education would be interested in examining OHVA's operations, given how shady K-12, Inc. has turned out to be in other states? An agency that is concerned about integrity, as ODE has currently become about school district data reporting, should be interested in the integrity of K-12, Inc.'s operation.
If Georgia thinks K-12's student-teacher ratios are outrageous, one would think the 51:1 ratio in Ohio would turn some heads. But we'll see.