What a Business!

The stateof Indiana shells out millions of dollars to virtual charter schools that educate no one.

Even Republican legislators thank this this could be a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

“Top state education leaders called it a “scandal” and “serious” that two Indiana virtual charter schools are accused of counting toward their enrollment thousands of students who either never signed up for or completed classes.

“This should be a massive alarm bell that outright fraud has been committed against Hoosier taxpayers to the tune of millions of dollars,” said Gordon Hendry, a state board of education member who led a committee last year to review virtual schools. “If this isn’t a scandal, I don’t know what is.”

“The harsh words came a day after Indiana Virtual School and its sister school, Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, were put on notice that their charter agreements could be revoked by their oversight agency, the small rural Daleville public school district. The virtual schools, which purported to educate about 6,000 students, could close if they do not find another authorizer to oversee them….

“The state data paint the scope of the issues at the schools as vast. Last spring, none of the 1,563 students reported as attending Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy for the full year were enrolled in any classes, according to the data analyzed by the district. That year, the school received $17 million from the state.

“In fall 2016, none of the 2,372 students reported as attending Indiana Virtual School for the full year earned any credits, according to the district’s analysis. That year, one out of five students enrolled all year were never signed up for any classes. In each semester of the 2017-18 school year, the majority of students reported as attending the school for the full year did not earn any credits. Nearly 60 percent earned zero credits at the end of the year — a year in which the school received $20 million in state funding.”

Despite the waste of state dollars, some choice advocates defended the fraud, because the virtual schools are a choice that parents make even if their children don’t get an education.