Letter: Ask Your School Board to 'Vote No' Against Online Charter School
"This is not about a parent’s choice and free will; it’s about making money off of our hard earned tax dollars where we all need every dime and resource to go to our kids," says a concerned resident in an area affected by the application of the online cha
There have been many articles lately about the proposed virtual online program that may be offered by a for profit company that has no direct responsibility to our school districts if implemented.
This proposal to allow this organization into our communities has become deeply troubling to me for many good reasons. This proposal by the company that is making such an offer is known as the Illinois Virtual Academy at Fox River Valley (VLS) that would fall under the controversial umbrella of K12, Inc. The VLS Company would be a start up here in our state and has no past experience in this type of education which is a major concern in itself.
I have found many troubling articles about K12, Inc. that discuss concerning practices, multiple law suits and claims that the program does not benefit the student as the company claims it does. I have found the company has hired many lobbyists around the country to lobby on their behalf to help change the laws to make it more accessible for their company to enter our school districts and ultimately to the desk of our kids at home.
They have also paid thousands of dollars in donations to political candidates. Some have been paid to local elected officials here in Oswego per the Illinois Board of Elections web site.
I find it troubling that so much time is being devoted to this by local school administration’s to defend their position as it is taking away what they should be focusing on, our own schools. Once the child has left the school district and enters this new virtual program at home, so does our tax dollars that goes right into the for profit enterprise where the number one goal is to make money.
Many other questions are left to answer. What about afterschool programs that the on line student cannot participate in? What about the loss of social interaction? What if the student does not do well and needs to come back to the traditional public school? Who pays for getting that student back on track? The answer to all of these questions are simple; it will be the local people in each school district who will be left to deal with these issues and they will be costly in money and lost time that a child cannot get back.
An online program has its place, online programs are being done effectively around the country in education. The best way they can be successful is to have them run fully through our school district where we have adequate oversight with the best interest in mind of our school kids.
Please contact your school board today and advise them to vote no against the for profit on line program that is associated with VLS and K12, Inc. This is not about a parent’s choice and free will; it’s about making money off of our hard earned tax dollars where we all need every dime and resource to go to our kids. It should not go to a shareholder who has nothing to do with our school district and does not care about the problems associated with this business model that does more harm than good to our fine communities.
David R. Edelman