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story.lead_photo.caption Katie Presley, 11, completes a school lesson on her laptop Thursday as her mother, Jacqueline Presley, and brother, Jackson, 9, watch her work at their dining room table in their home in Springdale. Both children are enrolled in the Springdale School District’s Virtual Innovation Academy in the Don Tyson School of Innovation. More photos at arkansasonline.com/913education/. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

The state’s Charter Authorizing Panel on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to the Arkansas Virtual Academy to increase its enrollment cap by 1,500, from 4,000 to 5,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

The proposal from the statewide charter school is now subject to review and final approval by the Arkansas Board of Education, which could act on the matter as soon as next month.

The Virtual Academy request is the second request from the school for an enrollment cap change for this new school year.

The Little Rock-based school asked for and received approval from both the panel and the Education Board earlier this summer for an increase from 3,000 to 4,000 students.

Amy Johnson, head of school for the virtual academy, told the authorizing panel Tuesday that the latest enrollment expansion “is needed to house the extra interest that is coming because of covid.”

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.

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