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Online Learning Company K12 Plummets as Miami District Cuts Ties

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(Bloomberg) — Online learning company K12 Inc. saw its stock plummet after Miami-Dade County Public Schools abandoned its platform following a chaotic start to the school year.

The school board, which represents one of the largest districts in the country, made the decision following a meeting marked by a myriad of complaints from parents and teachers.

Some said the platform was confusing on top of connectivity issues and a cyber attack, in which a 16-year-old student in connection with the event has been arrested.

Shares fell as much as 17% on Thursday in the biggest intraday drop since March 17.

Shaun McAlmont, president of K12 Career Learning Solutions, said in an interview on CNBC that the Miami situation would have no financial impact on the company, however.

“It was a complex solution with a very short time short timeframe, which really became a Herculean task to solve,” McAlmont said. “I think it was a special project that was more about creating something new and innovative, not about the bottom line.”

Miami-Dade started the new school year virtually after a surge in Florida Covid-19 cases this summer. The K12 platform was supposed to help students and teaches pivot between online and schoolhouse learning when in-person studies eventually resume.

On an Aug. 11 conference call, K12 Chief Executive Nathaniel Davis touted the Miami-Dade schools plan as an example of “the flexibility of the K12 technical platform.”

In a statement Thursday, superintendent Alberto Carvalho said teachers should now use Microsoft Teams and Zoom, and that K12 had agreed to help move students off its platform starting immediately.

K12 didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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