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Panel: Don’t expand virtual charter school enrollment

A day after Arkansas’ legislative Joint Budget Committee recommended raising the cap on enrollment at the state’s virtual charter school to 1,000, the panel endorsed an amendment to return the cap to 500, reports the Arkansas News Bureau. Rep. David Rainey, D-Dumas, proposed the amendment to lower the school’s enrollment cap back to 500. Rainey said he was not opposed to the Arkansas Virtual Academy, but said more information was needed on how the students are progressing before enrollment is allowed to double. The academy is a public charter school that offers a computer-based curriculum and allows students to work from home. Several committee members spoke against Rainey’s amendment, including Sen. Steve Bryles, D-Blytheville, who said the virtual school has been very successful and the amendment should be voted down "if we value learning in the 21st century and we value parental choice."

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