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Poor student outcomes continue at N.C.'s virtual charter schools

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The General Assembly has continued to expand enrollment at the state's two virtual charter schools, despite their poor student outcomes.

More than 5,700 North Carolina students attended one of the two virtual charter schools last year. NC Cyber Academy and NC Virtual Academy each brought in hundreds more students after a provision in a COVID relief bill allowed it.

The two schools have been a pilot project since 2015. In their five years of operation, both schools have been consistently labeled D-schools based on their students' test scores.

State laws have extended the schools' operations through 2025. After that, the state office of charter schools is recommending the schools undergo the same renewal process as other charter schools.

That oversight process can lead to a charter school being closed if it fails to meet certain criteria. The two virtual schools are not currently meeting the standards for student performance.