In Indiana, virtual charters come under scrutiny

Indiana state officials are taking a critical look at the state’s growing sector of virtual charter schools.

A state board of education committee is meeting for the first time Tuesday, and is expected to look at new regulations for virtual charters, according to Chalkbeat. Meanwhile, one key state legislator is talking about going beyond regulations.

“Whatever we’re doing is not working, because I don’t see where they’re improving,” Senate Appropriations Committee chair Ryan Mishler told Chalkbeat’s Shaina Cavazos. “With a virtual, if you’re failing so many years in a row, maybe we need to look at how long do we let them fail before we say you can’t operate.”

Four of Indiana’s five virtual charters received a grade of “F” from the state last year, Chalkbeat reported, but the state will have seven virtual charters up and running next school year.

Low test scores and poor graduation rates also plague Idaho’s 17 virtual schools. (Click here for our in-depth story from April.)

Supporters say the virtual schools take in a high percentage of at-risk students, but state officials and even a prominent charter school advocate say the low scores raise red flags.

All told, about 6,000 Idaho students attend virtual schools.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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