When readers pored over Chalkbeat national reporter Kalyn Belsha’s investigative stories that looked into Paper, a virtual tutoring company with contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, they saw the truth about how the company operates.
Belsha found Paper’s tutors often juggled sessions with multiple students at a time and were even offered “surge” bonuses of two to three times their normal pay for every minute they worked with four or more students at once. Some of the districts sending their federal pandemic relief money to Paper were under the impression the tutors worked with one student at a time, a method found to have more success with struggling students.
The result was swift. The nation’s fifth-largest school district, Clark County in Nevada, gave schools the option to stop using Paper’s tutoring. One hundred and fifty schools opted out. Parents in Virginia shared the Chalkbeat articles at a school board meeting. In the weeks that followed, Boston and Hillsborough County, Florida announced they wouldn’t be working with Paper anymore.