New online-only charter school gets state approval

Posted at: 02/01/2013 10:04 PM
Updated at: 02/01/2013 10:25 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

This fall public school students across New Mexico could start getting their education completely online.

Education Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera just approved the New Mexico Connections Academy on Wednesday. The school still has to get a few more things approved before it starts operations this August. It would be the state's second virtual charter school, but this one would serve the entire state.
     
The school would be funded based on the students. That means they would get the same funding as a normal school.
     
The idea is to give parents and students options when it comes to public education.
 
"Some kids learn well one on one.  Some have trouble sitting in a regular classroom, and a virtual education is good for certain groups," Public Education Department Deputy Secretary of Finance Paul Aguilar said.
 
Back in September, the Public Education Commission heard the school's proposal and voted against the school in a 6-to-3 vote. Commissioner Vince Bergman voiced concerns about virtual schools causing a loss in funding for other districts. This is an excerpt of Bergman's statements from the meeting minutes:
 
"If there is a significant negative budget impact in their district, classes are going to have to be cancelled; teachers are going to have to be laid off."
 
Skandera overruled that vote when the school's founding board appealed.
 
Students wanting to attend will have to enter a lottery to be accepted.