​K12 Inc. Puts $2.4M Into New ‘Family Support Center’

A PHYSICAL TEST FOR VIRTUAL LEARNING: K12 Inc., provider of curriculum and developer of distance learning schools, opened a family support center in Alcoa, TN, to help families decide whether K12 Inc.’s online learning model is right for their children. K12 Inc. plans to invest $2.4 million into the center over the next five years. Interesting move, considering none of the funding will actually go towards educating students, but rather towards family decision-making.

The physical center may be in response to recent criticism over disappointing academic outcomes, notably from investor Whitney Tilson. One particularly egregious low point for K12 Inc. actually took place an hour away from the new family support center: In February 2013, the company’s Tennessee Virtual Academy took some heat after leaked emails in which school leaders asked that the grades of low-performing students be changed. (The accusations were denied.)

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