Tennessee state Representative Gloria Johnson will be the keynote speaker at a Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice-sponsored community forum Sunday in Geneva that seeks to address a fast-breaking effort by K12 Inc. to bring a virtual charter school to Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles and 15 other local school districts.
The group claims to be nonpartisan but generally has a liberal agenda, staging recent protests at U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren's office calling for no cuts to social security and medicare and picketing in front of numberous Walmarts in support of striking workers.
Now Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice is working to spread the word about the St. Patrick's Day free public forum to all concerned parents, teachers and taxpayers—"with a special focus on inviting regional school board members and school administrators who will ultimately be compelled to make decisions about this important issue," according to a Thursday press release.
The community forum will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at the st Congregational Church of Geneva, 321 Hamilton St.
K12 Inc. is attempting to establish a virtual charter school named Illinois Virtual Charter School @ Fox River Valley in 18 suburban school districts—an effort overseen by the Illinois’ State Charter School Commission.
Johnson is attending the NIJwJ-sponsored meeting to share her experience with K12 Inc. as a Tennessee lawmaker. After receiving evidence that K12 Inc. instructed their teachers to delete low test scores, Johnson has become a vocal critic of the for-profit virtual business.
A K12 spokesperson has told Patch that the allegations of grade-tampering in Tennessee have been "debunked.'
According to the NIJwJ press release, K12 Inc’s CEO makes $3.9 million/year in salary. A Washington Post Local blog says K12 Inc. chief executive Ron Packard was paid $5 million compensation package in 2011.
The March 17 forum is meant "to inform the public about K12 Inc.’s dismal track record as an education provider."
NIJwJ and community residents plan to mobilize to attend the 17 remaining public hearings on K12 Inc.’s proposal.
“We have studied K12 Inc. closely, and we are taking a clear position against their application,” says NIJwJ Co-Chair Mary Shesgreen. “K12 Inc.’s proposal is a device to divert vital taxpayer funds from our schools and into the pockets of their shareholders—who include Wall Street speculators who profit from taking vitally needed public funds away from public schools—while their track record as ‘educators’ has a growing record of failure and worse.”