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Denied virtual academy could be revived by state officials

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By Dwane Wilder

 JACKSBORO—Campbell County’s Virtual Academy, which was all but dead in the water in August, could open in January, according to Director of Schools Donnie Poston.

Poston said late Tuesday that he has been in recent communication with Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman and Deputy Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Airhart about the status of the academy.

“They’re looking at the possibility of a late opening,” said Poston.

The state put the brakes on the academy early last month because of insufficient information on the original application. Students were told to enroll in their regular schools until further notice.

A virtual academy of 3,000 students remains open in neighboring Union County despite very low test scores the past two years. That school is operated by the same company, K-12 Virtual Schools, with which the Campbell County Board of Education voted to enter into a one-year contract earlier this summer.

As part of the agreement, K-12 Virtual Schools, LLC was to keep 96 percent of the Better Education Program funds from the state for each student registered for the academy. The remaining four percent was earmarked for eight additional school resource officers for Campbell County Public Schools.