Judge: Virtual charter school cannot open

June 29, 2012 1:13:25 PM PDT
Wake County Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones ruled Friday that a virtual charter school cannot open next year in Cabarrus County.

The decision had nothing to do with whether virtual charters are a good or bad idea.  It was about the charter school not taking the proper steps and going around the State Board of Education.

The decision overturns a previous ruling that would have allowed the virtual charter to open up even though the state board of education hadn't approved it.

Jones ruled that another judge had overstepped his bounds and that only the state can green-light a charter school and that never happened.

The decision left at least one parent in the courtroom upset. She was considering a virtual education for her three-year-old. However, others are cheering the idea that the state board has the final say.

"If the state board made the determination that this school could offer kids a quality education and meet all the other requirements that other charters meet, then let the state board decide that and let the school open, but until that happens, the school should not be allowed to open," said Christine Bischoff, with the  North Carolina Justice Center.

"I would like to see this go through," said Raleigh parent Lauren Bumgardner. "It's a great option for parents to make the decision of what's best for their child and this kind of overruled that saying you have A, B, and C options and there's nothing else for you to do."

N.C. Learns is a non-profit group that was seeking to open the North Carolina Virtual Academy. A for-profit Virginia company funds N.C. Learns.

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