K12 Inc. to Present at BMO Capital Markets 16th Annual Back To School Conference

August 18, 2016 11:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time

HERNDON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), a technology-based education company and leading
provider of proprietary curriculum and online school programs for
students in pre-K through high school, today announced that it will be
presenting at the 16th Annual BMO Capital Markets Back To School
Conference. The event will take place on Thursday, September 15, 2016
and will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, NY.

K12 joins the online learning community on that day in marking the
first-ever National Online Learning Day (http://www.onlinelearningday.com).
The community of online learners is rapidly growing as student and
teacher engagement expands beyond the boundaries of traditional
learning. Online learning opens up new avenues of exploration and is
available to all learners, from pre-school to college and beyond.
Students can study almost any subject- anywhere, anytime. National
Online Learning Day is dedicated to showcasing the accomplishments of
online students and educators.

Stuart Udell, K12’s Chief Executive Officer will be presenting at 3:45
p.m. Eastern and both he, and James Rhyu, Chief Financial Officer will
be hosting meetings with institutional investors throughout the day. If
you wish to schedule a meeting with the Company, please contact your BMO
Capital Markets representative or Mike Kraft, Vice President Finance.

About K12 Inc.

K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN)
is driving innovation and advancing the quality of education by
delivering state-of-the-art, digital learning platforms and technology
to students and school districts across the globe. K12’s award winning
curriculum serves over 2,000 schools and school districts and has
delivered more than four million courses over the past decade. K12 is a
company of educators with the nation’s largest network of K-12 online
school teachers, providing instruction, academic services, and learning
solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms,
blended school programs, and directly to families. The K12program
is offered through K12partner public schools in 33
states and the District of Columbia, and through private schools serving
students in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. More information
can be found at K12.com.

Contacts

K12 Inc.Investor and Press Contact:Mike Kraft,
571-353-7778VP Financemkraft@k12.com

How can we improve the performance and accountability of Pennsylvania cyber charters?

If it sometimes seems like “tuition-free” cyber charter ads are running non-stop, consider that in just one year your tax dollars paid for 19,298 local TV commercials for Agora Cyber Charter, just one of Pennsylvania’s 13 cyber charters.  And far from being tuition-free, total cyber tuition paid by Pennsylvania taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was $393.5 million, $398.8 million and $436.1 million respectively.

Those commercials were very effective, especially if you were an executive at K12, Inc., a for-profit company contracted to manage the cyberschool.  According to Agora’s 2013 IRS filing, it paid $69.5 million that year to K12, Inc.  According to Morningstar, total executive compensation at K12 in 2013 was $21.37 million.

Not so effective for kids or taxpayers, though.  What the ads don’t tell you is that they are paid for using your school tax dollars instead of those funds being spent in classrooms, and that academic performance at every one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has been consistently dismal.  While the PA Dept. of Education considers a score of 70 to be passing, Agora’s PA School Performance Profile (SPP) scores for 2013, 2014 and 2015 were 48.3, 42.4 and 46.4.

In fact, not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has achieved a passing SPP score of 70 in any of the three years that the SPP has been in effect.  Additionally, most PA cybers never made adequate yearly progress during all the years (2005-2012) that the federal No Child Left Behind law was in effect.  While cybers may be a great fit for some kids, overall they have been an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars drawn from all 500 school districts without any authorization by those districts.  Unlike brick and mortar charter schools which must be authorized by their local school district, cyber charters were authorized, and are ostensibly overseen by the state Dept. of Education.

Even if the cyber’s SPP score is 50 points less than a school district school, locally elected school boards have virtually no discretion when it comes to paying cyber tuition bills.  If they don’t pay the cyber school the Department of Education will draft their account.

These poor results are reflected in national studies.  Stanford University reported that online schools have an “overwhelming negative impact,” showing severe shortfalls in reading and math achievement.  The shortfall for most cyber students, they said, was equal to losing 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days in math during the typical 180-day school year.  In math it is as if they did not go to school at all.  The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a charter advocacy group based in Washington, said the findings were so troubling that the report should be “a call to action for authorizers and policymakers.”

What can Pennsylvania policymakers do to improve the performance and accountability of our cyber charters?  Here are some possibilities for our legislators to consider as they return from summer break.

Consider cyber charter reform separately from brick and mortar charter school reform legislation.  Charter reform has proven to be a very tough nut to crack.  There seems to be increasing agreement that cyber education as presently configured is not working for most of our students or our taxpayers.

Consider closing some of the most persistently underperforming cybers with scores in the 20s, 30s and 40s and have their students transfer to one of the better performing schools.  One of the tenets of school choice is supposed to be that failing schools would be closed.

Consider funding cyber education via a separate dedicated budget line instead of tuition payments from school districts.  These schools are already authorized by the state department of ed, not by school boards.

Consider providing PDE with the staffing and resources needed to effectively oversee the cyber charters that they have authorized.

Consider the recommendations of the PA Auditor General’s June 2012 special report on Charter and Cyber Charter Education Funding Reform. http://www.paauditor.gov/Media/Default/Reports/CyberCharterSpecialReport201206.pdf

Consider the recommendations of the PA Special Education Funding Commission’s December 2013 report that calls for using three funding categories based upon the intensity of services required to meet special education students’ needs.

In 2014-15 cyber charters reportedly received over $100 million more in special education tuition payments than they actually spent on special education services.

http://www.elc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/SpecialEducationFundingCommissionReport_12_11_13.pdf

Consider requiring all ads for cyber charters to clearly state that the ads are paid for using school tax dollars and to clearly state the cyber charter’s SPP score and the fact that a score of 70 is considered passing.

Consider creating a centralized marketing website at PDE instead of having cyber charters spend tax dollars on ads.  This site would link to the websites for each of the state’s cyber schools.

A blog posting entitled “Can-policymakers-fix-what-ails-online-charter-schools? by Dara Zeehandelaar and Michael J. Petrilli recommended three strategies for improving online schools:

(1) Consider adopting performance-based funding for e-schools.  When students complete courses successfully and demonstrate that they have mastered the expected competencies, cybers schools would get paid. This creates incentives for cybers to focus on what matters most—academic progress—while tempering their appetite for enrollment growth and the dollars tied to it. It would also encourage them to recruit students likely to succeed in an online environment.

(2) Policy makers should seek ways to improve the fit between students and e-schools. It seems that students selecting cyber schools may be those least likely to succeed in a school format that requires independent learning, self-motivation, and self-regulation.  Lawmakers could explore rules that exempt cyber schools from policies requiring all charters, virtual ones included, to accept every student who applies and instead allow cybers to operate more like magnet schools with admissions procedures and priorities.

(3) Policy makers should support online course choice, so that students interested in web-based learning can avail themselves of online options without enrolling full-time in a cyber charter. This might include encouraging students to use their own school districts’ programs if their school district or intermediate unit offers cyber education.

Cyber charters were intended to be a better alternative to traditional schools that were deemed as failing.  Over 10 years later that has consistently proven not to be the case.  We have spent over $1 billion in tax dollars on cyber tuition in Pennsylvania in just the past three years.  Our students and taxpayers deserve better.

Lawrence A. Feinberg of Ardmore is serving in his 17th year as a school director in Haverford Township.  He is the founder and a co-chairman of the Keystone State Education Coalition.

Alabama Virtual Academy at Eufaula City Schools (ALVA) Kicks Off its Second School Year

EUFAULA, Ala.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Students at Alabama Virtual Academy at Eufaula City Schools (ALVA), an accredited, full-time, online public charter school, began their 2016-2017 school year on August 4th. This marks its 2nd year of operation in the state.

Alabama Virtual Academy at Eufaula City Schools is a tuition-free, full-time public school program for grades K-12. Students at ALVA follow the Eufaula City Schools district calendar.

Students enrolled at Alabama Virtual Academy at Eufaula City Schools learn outside the traditional classroom and receive their courses and participate in teacher-led instruction online. State-certified teachers work in close partnership with parents or other guardians who serve as learning coaches for the students.

“We are excited to be working with students and families in Alabama this year through Eufaula City Schools,” said Kayleen Marble, ALVA Head of School, “We are looking forward to meeting all of our students and providing them an excellent education option through this program.”

Earlier this summer, ALVA challenged enrolled families to prevent summer ‘brain drain’ by offering students free access to LearnBop, a self-paced solution that simulates a one-on-one, personalized math tutoring experience. The award-winning online program will continue to be available free of charge throughout the fall and can be used alongside the regular math curriculum to build math skills or prepare for high-level exams.

Eufaula City Schools is partnering with K12 Inc. Alabama Virtual Academy at Eufaula City Schools will use K12’s award-winning curriculum and academic services. K12 Inc. is accredited by AdvancED, the world’s largest education community.

About Eufaula City Schools

Established in 1872, Eufaula City Schools is the oldest city school district in Alabama and is the heartbeat of this beautiful southeast Alabama city. Eufaula City Schools is a progressive district providing many academic, enrichment, and technical opportunities for students and teachers while maintaining the values and traditions of the best in public schools. More information can be found at www.ecs.k12.al.us.

About K12 Inc. K12 Inc. (LRN), is the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs. For more information on the school, please visit: http://alva.k12.com and follow us on Facebook.

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