Some public-education advocates are questioning $4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to launch an online charter school in Arkansas that benefits the for-profit education company founded by conservative icon William J. Bennett. They say Bennett's firm might have profited unfairly from his political connections, and they claim the federal funds are being used to subsidize education for home-schooled students at the expense of public schools.


State officials used the grants to create the Arkansas Virtual Academy, a two-year-old program that provides online learning to students from home with curriculum supplied by...

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