The Georgia Department of Education is threatening to close an online charter school run by K12, the nation’s largest online education company, over issues with special education students.
The agency issued a report last week that the K12-run Georgia Cyber Academy has repeatedly failed to comply with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and has violated student civil rights by failing to provide services required by the law.
The school has 1,100 special education students, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.The 12,000-student school is the largest public school in the state.
The agency will begin the process of closing the school in April unless the concerns are addressed.
The Florida Department of Education is investigating whether K12 online programs used teachers who were not properly certified and then asked other teachers to help cover it up. In addition, company documents show student-to-teacher ratios of 275-to-1 in some K12 classes, while some Florida school districts have raised concerns about a network of K12-run online charter schools which have applied across the state.
Georgia Cyber Academy officials told the AJC they had some questions about issues raised in the report and would speak with officials at the state department of education. From the story:
GCA’s head of school, Matt Arkin, has maintained that the school has met special education targets established by the department. Those claims, however, are refuted by the report, which says the school “is in violation of critical federal special education laws and regulations.”
During an October review of GCA, department officials found “continuing and significant failures to comply with federal and state laws and regulations,” according to the report…
Arkin said GCA staff will meet with the department next week “to discuss this report and develop a plan to collaborate with them to ensure that all of our students continue to receive all the services to which they are entitled and verify GCA’s compliance.”
You can read the letter the Georgia Department of Education sent to the school below.