MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s was very long Wednesday night for the Miami-Dade School Board as frustrations were aired from many sides after last week’s chaotic start to the challenging school year.
School board members were at odds over whether to continue listening to hours of public comment late Wednesday night.
The board had already heard voicemails and statements from parents and teachers about reopening schools and the controversial K12 online distance learning program.
Even late into the night, public comment continued about both topics.
A Miami-Dade School Board member told CBS4 News she has had enough with a controversial online learning program.
“It just has so many problems. I think it’s time we abandon it,” said Dr. Marta Perez.
During the hours-long school board meeting, Perez was ready to talk about her proposal to get rid of the K12 online platform altogether.
K12’s CEO told Perez the company rushed to develop the online learning tool.
She said it usually takes months instead of weeks to put together.
“During our conversation, he said three times this was not the fault of the administration. This was not the fault of Alberto Carvalho. We take full responsibility. The problem is the time compression,” she explained.
Middle and high school students have gone back to using Microsoft Teams.
However, elementary school students are still using K12.
“People are still complaining. If this program was ever going to work for us, it would require so much time,” Perez said.
In a letter to the school board, K12’s CEO said, in part:
“We all knew the 6-week timeframe was a challenge… the platform that supports students in grades sixth through twelve needed more work, and clearly did not handle Miami-Dade’s requirements.”
The fourth largest school district in the nation also dealt with cyberattacks.
One of the district’s students, David Oliveros, was arrested and accused of eight different attacks.
Perez described having technical problems and cyberattacks during the first week of school as a perfect storm.
“It could not have been orchestrated to be a worse nightmare for us,” Perez said.
During a final budget hearing that also took place Wednesday night, the superintendent said he plans to spend $5 million on cybersecurity.
Also, when it comes to money, the district has not spent a dime covering the $15 million price tag for the K12 program. That’s because the superintendent never signed the contract.