A company that received approval from the Cabarrus County School Board to open an online charter school cannot do so because only the State Board of Education is allowed to authorize such schools, a state judge ruled Friday.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Abraham Jones ruled that the North Carolina Virtual Academy can’t start enrolling students this fall. An administrative law judge had ruled last month that the virtual charter school could operate because the State Board of Education didn’t respond to its application by a March 15 deadline.
The State Board of Education appealed the ruling and were joined by the North Carolina School Boards Association. 89 of the 115 local boards of education passed resolutions in opposition to the virtual charter school.
If N.C. Learns were allowed to operate the school, the cost would have been about $18.5 million in state and local funds, Judge Jones said in his ruling. N.C. Learns is 100-percent funded through a grant from a Virginia-based for-profit company called K12 Inc. K12 Inc. has operated online schools in 29 states.
The company had promised to pay Cabarrus County Schools 4 percent of the public funding the company took in for the school.
The virtual charter school has the option to appeal the ruling if they choose to do so.