Virtual Charter Schools Face Potential Loss of State Funding Under New Bill

KOKH - February 23, 2024 5:57 am

A new bill has been filed that could potentially pull state funding from virtual charter schools.

If passed, House Bill 35-51 would not allow virtual schools to receive state funding if they do not meet all requirements of an alternative school, which Insight School Executive Director Jennifer Wilkinson said is a cause for concern.

“It would be very impactful because those extra supports that some of our most at-risk students need do cost extra funds, and so that would hinder us in being able to provide a holistic educational opportunity for our students,” she said.

Wilkinson said she believes they meet the necessary requirements on the surface, but that there could be complications since they’re virtual.

“We do believe that we meet the criteria of the law. We however, do not meet the criteria sometimes in the same manner as a traditional, educational model, simply because we are in the virtual realm,” she said.

Rep. Danny Sterling, the bill’s author, said he introduced the bill after he said he saw major flaws in the emergency rules for alternative education, adding that they were changed so that alternative schools would satisfy those rules.

“The new rules were basically allowing virtual, online programs, which I have no problem with those, but they were allowing them to dip into the alternative education funds that the state department allows,” he said.

Wilkinson said she wants an opportunity to sit down with sterling to discuss how insight serves students and meets the standards of the alternative education law.

 

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