VCS Will Not Open on August 15th

Dear VCS Family,

During our 16 years of existence, VCS Ohio has always strived to make student and family focused decisions. We have devoted state funds toward programs and materials that would benefit our students, aligning with our Mission – “To make a difference in the life of a student.”

Over the past two years, the Ohio Department of Education has altered the way in which they believe online students should be funded. ODE’s decision has been the reason behind ECOT’s court case that you’ve likely heard and read about over the previous year. The results of this case have had a direct impact on our school. Instead of funding students based on enrollment, as traditional districts are funded, ODE wants to fund students solely based on the time they are physically logged into an online system. This is very challenging for students at an online school, since work is completed in a variety of ways, both on and offline. ODE has determined that online students shouldn’t be funded equally.

This decision has resulted in ODE asking VCS to return millions of dollars to the state. We have fought ODE by appealing their decisions; however, all appeals have been heard by an ODE-chosen appeals officer and have been denied. ODE has left us in a difficult situation. To continue to operate on only partial student funding and also return funds to the state, VCS would be forced to greatly reduce services to you: our students. This would have a significant impact on our ability to continue acting out our Mission.

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that VCS Ohio will not open on August 15, 2017. In an Emergency Board Meeting on July 31, 2017, the VCS Ohio Board agreed to a temporary suspension by our sponsor while a financial investigation is conducted. Our students are the top priority of the Board and VCS Ohio staff; we want to ensure they have the best opportunity for educational success for the entire 2017-18 school year.

The financial investigation, resulting in a final decision regarding the future of VCS, is expected to be complete on or before September 1, 2017. In the meantime, our office staff will be available to assist you with making the best decision for your student. Please contact us at 1-614-501-9473.

Sincerely,

Jeff Nelson
Superintendent
Virtual Community School of Ohio