August 16, 2020

With the COVID pandemic devastating the traditional school experience for children across North Carolina, parents are doing all they can to get the best educational situation for their children to learn.

So it was painful to read that the State Board of Education rejected a plan that would have allowed up to 3800 more school children to attend two virtual charter schools for this school year.

The Board of Education vote was 7-5 and split down partisan lines according to the News & Observer report.

The proposal was to be a one year, pandemic-related enrollment cap exemption for the virtual charter schools to be available so families would have more options for their children’s education.

The main concern of those voting against the proposal was that the virtual charters had received low performing ratings – “D” ratings – compared to school districts and brick and mortar charter schools.

According to the article, Lt. Governor Dan Forest, a member of the State Board of Education, responded to those opposed to letting parents choose the virtual charters:

 “We have multiple ‘F’ schools that are offering virtual academies for this time period and we’re not spending a lot of time talking about that either. And they’re going to try to get up and get running and we’re okay with that.”

At a time when every reasonable opportunity and option should be given to parents to help deal with the educational concerns they have for their children at a time when COVID virus restrictions have limited choices for so many, it’s shameful to once again see what appears to be politics being played with young lives.