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Pearson, K12 Inc. to Operate N.C.'s First Virtual Charter Schools

Guest post by Arianna Prothero. Cross-posted from the Charters & Choice blog.

North Carolina's first online charter schools have gotten the final go-ahead to open.

The board of education's approval of the two virtual schools this week was pretty much preordained: There were only two applications for schools and the board was required by the state legislature to approve two virtual charter schools as part a four-year pilot program, according to the Raleigh-based News Observer.

"While it's true that North Carolina already has a digital option with the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS), these new virtual charter schools will expand access to digital learning opportunities, allowing students who aren't qualified to take classes at NCVPS an alternative," said Kara Kerwin, president of the Washington-based Center for Education Reform in a statement. "There are over four million students nationwide currently taking advantage of virtual learning opportunities."

One of the two operators, K12 Inc., has run into trouble in other states over issues such as low student performance, and the News Observer reports some board members expressed concerns over that. But in the end the application from K12 Inc., was approved along with the other school affiliated with the education company, Pearson.

Both schools will be opening in the fall and allowed to enroll up to 1,500 students each.

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