Oregon virtual charter ready to fight state

Denial of funding over parental involvement requirement is an 'attack' on very core of virtual schools, school says.

Oregon's Department of Education recent scrutiny of an online charter school has drawn criticism from school advocates, reports Oregon Public Broadcasting.

When the Oregon Connections Academy - an online charter school - had its funding threatened due to the charter school's requirement of parental involvement, Matt Wingard, the spokesman for the Oregon Connections Academy, was livid.

"This is an attack on Oregon Connections Academy. What they are asking us to compromise is fundamental to how a virtual, public charter school would function. So we're not inclined to compromise -- we don't believe they're acting in good faith. If necessary, we are willing to litigate this."

The dispute arose over the requirement that parents sign a parental involvement agreement. It was subsequently deemed the requirement was an illegal barrier to admission, and it was withdrawn.

"We wanted to insure that the charter schools were meeting that same requirement. As to the Department of Education targeting any particular charter, I think that's just not the case. The only thing that we were 'targeting' was a legal requirement that was not being met," said department policy advisor Randy Harnish.