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K12 Responds to Draft of Florida Schools Investigation

By Rich Duprey - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:30PM

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Investigation finds no intentional attempt to circumvent Florida teacher certification requirements.

The inspector general's office of the Florida Department of Investigation has been delving into allegations that online education provider K12 (LRN 0.98%) used uncertified teachers to teach children and asked employees to help cover up the practice. In a just-released draft of its findings, the report found no evidence that the company used teachers lacking Florida certification, though it did say K12 used three teachers who were not certified for the subject they were teaching.

K12 responded to the report, issuing a statement that said in part: "We are pleased that the draft report conclusively finds that the primary allegations made by (Seminole County Public Schools) are unsubstantiated. K12 did not implement a system to intentionally avoid Florida's teacher certification requirements."

It did agree that there was better record-keeping that it could do, as it found through its own internal investigation of the matter, and while there were a handful of instances where certified teachers did teach out of their subject area, as the inspector general's office notes, it is not per se a violation of Florida law for teachers to teach out-of-field.

K12's statement went on to say: "K12 welcomes accountability. The company has been completely transparent and cooperated fully with the Florida Department of Education and the OIG [inspector general's office] from day one. We appreciate the professionalism displayed throughout by the OIG and its attorneys. K12 is grateful the process is coming to a close and for the opportunity it created to make our internal processes and controls even stronger.

The comments of both K12 and the SCPS will be considered by the OIG, which could change the final report when it is released.

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