First and Only Massachusetts Virtual School to Close
In January 2010, Massachusetts passed a sweeping education law that allowed for virtual innovation schools for the first time. In fall 2010 the Massachusetts Virtual Academy (MAVA) at Greenfield became the first—and only—school that would open under the legislation. In December 2012, legislation passed that is designed to expand virtual schooling in Massachusetts (see our blog post for details). However, the legislation also shifted control over virtual schools from districts—in this case Greenfield—to the state, to become more like a charter school than a district school. While the state maintains that the local school board would still have some influence over the school, the state would have ultimate control. In the end, the school board decided that was not what it signed up for, and it will not apply to continue the school after June 2013.
While the new legislation opens the door for more virtual schools to open eventually, none will be approved in time for the 2013-14 school year, leaving the 480 current MAVA students without a virtual option.