The North Carolina Court of Appeals says a group wanting to open an online charter school in the state will have to apply again. The group backed by the for-profit virtual charter operator K12 argued the state should have allowed it to open last year.
The group called NC Learns wants to offer online classes to about 3,000 students across the state. It’s never gotten the approval of the state board of education. In 2012, the state board did not review the application because the state had no policy on how virtual charters should function and how much state money they should receive.
The company K12 would have operated the school. It operates online charters in more than two dozen states with mixed success. The company and NC Learns argued in court the state board created an illegal moratorium on virtual charter schools by not voting on the application.
The court of appeals agreed with a Wake County judge who ruled that this wasn’t the case and that the authority to grant charters rests solely with the state board of education.
NC Learns took an unusual route in applying for a charter. It got preliminary approval through Cabarrus County’s board of education in 2012, bypassing the charter advisory council’s review.
K12 still has a shot of opening an online charter in North Carolina. NC Learns plans to apply to open a virtual charter school in the fall of 2015. Two other groups plan to do the same thing.