K12 Inc.: Bay Area lawmakers call for audit of California Virtual Academies operator
SACRAMENTO -- A bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling for a state audit of a profitable but low-performing network of online charter schools following this newspaper's investigation of K12 Inc., the Virginia company at the heart of the operation.
Published last month, the two-part series revealed that the Wall Street-traded company reaps tens of millions of dollars in state funding while graduating fewer than half of the students enrolled in its high schools. It also found that teachers at K12's California Virtual Academies have been asked to inflate attendance and enrollment records used to determine how much state funding the schools receive.
Assembly members Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon, say an audit is needed because the Legislature takes allegations of misspent public money seriously -- and that any company profiting while students struggle deserves intense scrutiny. Lawmakers say its findings would likely set the stage for legislation aimed at addressing the problems at online schools.
"This reporting raises serious questions that demand a more thorough investigation, which is why I will work with my colleagues to pursue an audit of for-profit charter schools and the mechanisms in place to hold them accountable," said Ting, who is joining with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and other Assembly members to craft the audit request.