Response to In The Public Interest Report

Statement from California Virtual Academies Head of School, Katrina Abston, on In The Public Interest Report

February 26, 2015

The report by In the Public Interest, an organization opposed to charter schools, is inaccurate and deeply flawed. The report relies primarily on misinformation from the California Teachers Association (CTA)—the union currently engaged in a coordinated and well-funded distortion campaign to unionize the eleven independent California Virtual Academies charter schools.

California Virtual Academies (CAVA) follows all state laws and accountability requirements, and their record on compliance is very strong. All CAVA schools undergo annual financial audits by independent external auditors and have a long record of clean findings with no material weaknesses. The schools’ budgets and contracts are all reviewed and approved by state-approved authorizers. The schools have been in full compliance with all California State Department of Education reviews of their expenditures.

CAVA has submitted to the state verified funding determinations from independent auditors that directly contradict the figures used in the report. The report also repeats false allegations made by the CTA about the eleven schools’ special education programs. A paid operative of the CTA—not a parent—recently filed bogus special education complaints to the State Department of Education with no evidence. All the complaints were dismissed. CAVA’s record on special education services is strong, and we are proud to serve students and their families with quality care.

On graduation rates, the State Department of Education recognizes that its calculations have limits due to the fact that they are not able to account for mobility of students. The Department acknowledges that what is reported is not always correct because its data system is unable to accurately measure graduation rates for nontraditional schools with higher student mobility rates—an important fact that was omitted from this report.

CAVA is governed by separate independent, nonprofit charter school boards, overseen by school districts. Our schools provide families a public school option for children who need alternatives to traditional public school. Our teachers and school staffs all believe in our mission to serve every child who comes to us. Efforts by powerful special interests opposed to charter schools and parent choice will not deter us from that commitment.

Statement from California Virtual Academy @ Sutter charter school boar d member, Kelly Krug, on the report from In The Public Interest

February 26, 2015

California Virtual Academy @ Sutter (CAVA) is part of a network of public charter schools, each governed by independent, nonprofit school board made up of California residents—parents, educators, local community leaders—who are committed to providing families educational options for children. Our charter school has strong oversight and an impeccable record of compliance.

It’s clear this organization worked hand-in-hand with the California Teachers Association to produce a one-sided, factually inaccurate, and highly misleading report to help the union achieve their political ends. It’s an unfortunate but predictable union tactic.

CAVA has a strong school community. I know I speak for my other fellow board members when I say I am proud of how CAVA is providing educational opportunities to so many students.