Are Virtual Schools for Real?

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit is being asked to asked to write a report on virtual schools. Why? For one thing, their popularity is increasing dramatically, causing some people to ask questions.

When the Lawrence Virtual School opened in 2004, it was only the fourth such program in Kansas.

At that time, 165 students had traded a traditional school setting for an electronic classroom capable of operating on the Internet 24 hours a day.

And the demand for that online alternative has exploded. Next year, enrollment is expected to top 1,000 students.

There are now 18 virtual schools in the state, though all are run by traditional school districts.

A special audit team is studying the state’s virtual school programs and will complete a report by April, said Barbara Hinton, legislative post auditor.

Virtual schools, like home schools, are not for everyone. But we hope that the audit isn’t used as a tool to limit the use of this promising innovation in education.

Source: Virtual schools’ popularity explodes, Lawrence  Journal-World, February 5.

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