K12, a for-profit charter school company based in Virginia, operates the Ohio Virtual Academy (OVA) in Ohio. OVA is a virtual, online charter school that enrolled 3,408 students in the 2006-2007 school year.

Last week K12 held an initial public offering of its stock.

Does this sounds totally crazy to anyone else???

The education of our state’s children in the hands of a for-profit corporation- obligated NOT to the best interests of OUR CHILDREN but the best interests of THEIR STOCKHOLDERS!

This means the company’s primary goal is to make money- not to educate our kids. And they do this by spending less money on students and by paying their teachers…

According to the state stats, OVA spends about 33% less per student that the state average.

According to the the CEA Blog, the company made about $108 million from the IPO but continues to pay its 91 non-unionized Ohio teachers an average of $32,341 (Columbus teachers START at $36,775!).

  • K12 has every incentive to educate the children. The company turns a profit by persuading parents to send their kids to the school. They persuade parents by doing a better job of educating than the public schools do. If the school doesn’t outperform the public schools by a big enough margin to justify the tuition, parents will pull their kids out.

    As for the teachers’ salaries, there must be a reason that explains the teachers’ willingness to work for less at this school than they’d get at a public school. They agreed to work for less.

    Everybody’s a willing participant, and everybody’s free to bail. In the meantime, education costs less. What’s not to like?

  • 1. The charter school in question is NOT performing better:

    Both the Ohio Virtual Academy and Columbus City Schools earned a Continuous Improvement rating for the 2006-2007 school year, but that is where the similarities end.

    Columbus City Schools made AYP as a district; OVA did not meet AYP and is now in School Improvement, year 2.

    And charter schools in general are not performing better.

    2) Education cost the same for the taxpayer. The charter schools get the same per-student funding as public schools- but charter schools spend less than the public schools.

    But spending less DOES NOT mean the charter schools are more efficient.

    It means that charter schools are trading the quality of our children’s education for profits.

    It translates to larger class sizes and cheaper (i.e. less qualified/lower quality) teachers.

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  • Dana Fleetham

    Actually, you have it all wrong. The reason why the teachers make less money, is that this is a charter HOMESCHOOL, which entails the PARENTS teaching their children. The teachers help parents when they have questions, and they primarily review student work and administer state testing, creating a win-win situation for homeschoolers, who otherwise would need to make these arrangements privately. We have three children in the program, and will eventually have five total students. We have also been with OHVA since it started in 2002, and have never had a problem with either our children having access to high-quality education or with the way it is structured. We do not appreciate the repeated attempts to discredit and attack this school, which makes it possible for our children to be homeschooled in a way we are comfortable with. As for it being for profit? Lets put it this way…..if OHVA didn’t have our kids enrolled, we would spend almost 4,000$ a year in box set curriculum purchases, something that would be difficult for us to afford right now. Trust me, if the school gets shut down, we will NOT be putting our kids in public schools. It will just make it harder, more expensive, and more time consuming for us to educate our children, who will STILL be homeschooled. Wake up teacher’s unions…it isn’t about YOU. We will fight for the right to educate our children however we wish, regardless of how you attack this school. Homeschooling is a choice that every American citizen has the right to, since last time I checked, we parents reserve that right, considering that we still do have (some) rights left in this society.

  • Deborah

    We are in America. We still have choices. Tax dollars have to go into schools. I feel I have a choice as to which school gets mine. WOW, the school is making a profit, they are going public. Great! That means like any other American business the dream is to make money. That should be part of the courses. Isn’t that the American dream to have a business that can make a profit. Isn’t that why a business stays in business. If there was not good customer service there would not be a business for long or too many government regulations. I teach my children, not the government. OHVA just has the tools at a good price.It’s great parents can teach their kids if they want to.That’s why I had kids and took on the responsibility, not to leave it to teachers. This is America.

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