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Haslam virtual school bill advances

8:17 PM, Feb 12, 2013   |    comments
Gov. Bill Haslam/ GEORGE WALKER IV / FILE / THE TENNESSEAN
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By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II / Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Republican bill to tighten enrollment requirements for online-only schools has been softened while a Democratic proposal to ban private companies from running them has been derailed.

The House Education Subcommittee took up virtual schools Tuesday amid allegations that a privately operated one directed teachers to cover up failing grades.

The committee altered Gov. Bill Haslam's proposed enrollment cap so it kicks in only if the school falls below performance guidelines for two consecutive years.

A Republican parliamentary move cut off debate when a Democrat tried to discuss an email obtained by WTVF-TV that indicated the vice principal of Tennessee Virtual Academy directed middle school teachers to delete two months of bad grades.

State officials have questioned K12 Inc.'s operation of the academy, calling its first-year test results "unacceptable."

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