by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The NC Virtual Academy charter school has asked the State Board of Education to grant an enrollment increase of up to 20%.
According to information provided by NC Virtual Academy, the “school currently enrolls just under 2,700 students and as of late April 2020, has received 3,100 applications for 403 available seats. There are currently no available openings in third grade or high school.” (Emphasis added.) I suspect that the strong interest in the school is indicative of parents concerned about COVID-19 transmission in brick-and-mortar schools.
The board will consider the request at their monthly meeting next week. If approved, the NC Virtual Academy will be able to enroll as many as 2,945 students for the 2020-21 school year, which will not come close to meeting the demand for “seats” at the school.
In our Carolina Rebound recommendations, I contend that lawmakers should remove enrollment caps on North Carolina’s two virtual charter schools and eliminate barriers to enrollment in the North Carolina Virtual Public School.