Tenn. education leaders question why virtual school remains open

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The legislature’s failure to shut down an academically-troubled virtual school run by a for-profit corporation has left some education leaders wondering whether Tennessee lawmakers really want to fix schools or have sold out children to powerful special interests.

A move that would have closed the Tennessee Virtual Academy failed this week in the legislature. The effort came on the heels of withering criticism of the school by former state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, who called TNVA Tennessee’s worst school.

Previous story: Tennessee Virtual Academy not enrolling new students this year

Critics of the school say lawmakers are bowing to pressure from K12, Inc., a Virginia-based, for-profit company that operates TNVA.

Huffman wrote a recent online essay saying the company’s lobbyists went into overdrive when state education officials sounded the alarm about problems at the school.

A K12 spokesman disputes Huffman’s account.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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