Auditors Find Issues With North Carolina Virtual School

The North Carolina Virtual Public School has been deemed by a state audit as having serious shortcomings.

The audit report states that out of the 100 online courses taken by 50,000 students in public schools the number actually enrolled is incorrect. The report found that too many people can enroll students in the system, reports the Associated Press, which means that a higher number of students are enrolled than are actually taking part in the classes. This is vital because the amount of payment teachers get is directly related to the number of students taking classes, but the audit found no teacher being overpaid as a result of this problem.

Auditors finished gathering information for the virtual school report at the end of May, said Wood’s spokesman, Bill Holmes. In June, the state Department of Public Instruction began screening online teachers to make sure they can’t influence course enrollment, state schools Superintendent June Atkinson said in a letter responding to the audit

During the summer an investigation was launched which looked at the amount of money teachers received and the number of people taking their classes.

The NC Virtual Public School began to offer online classes to students during 2007, which at the moment is setting the state back $20 million. And of that figure as much as 75% of it goes to the salaries of the teachers teaching the classes.

The audit comes as state judges are weighing whether a for-profit company should get taxpayer money to operate an online-only charter school. The state Court of Appeals could rule as early as next week whether to allow a North Carolina nonprofit created by Virginia-based K12 Inc. to offer classes to students whose parents opt out of existing public school classrooms.

K12 Inc, the biggest online educator in the country, is currently working with nonprofit N.C. Learns to build a charter school that has a reach which is country-wide — an audacious project that both parties feel can be done.  It is proposing that a deal is made with Cabarrus County’s school board where 4% of the money it makes goes to the school system in Cabarrus.

The nonprofit, N.C. Learns, and the nation’s largest online educator want to set up a charter school with a statewide reach in a deal with Cabarrus County’s school board. N.C. Learns agreed to pay 4 percent of its revenue to the school system in Cabarrus, located north of Charlotte, as well as paying K12.

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