ERIC Number: ED504598
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Making the Critical Transition to Stable Funding for State Virtual Schools
Thomas, William R.
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) state virtual schools are growing, and so should their funding. Since 2005, when SREB first gathered data on the number of middle grades and high school students in SREB state virtual schools, enrollment has gone up sevenfold. For many of these students, access to these courses would not have been possible without their state virtual school. For others, credit recovery is a critical achievement. To sustain and grow a state virtual school to meet and adjust to the academic needs of students across a state, legislative allotment may no longer be sufficient. Reliable and sustainable funding should be provided. As state virtual schools expand, few models exist that states can use to fund and support their important work adequately. State leaders need to consider alternatives to legislative allotment as state virtual schools mature. SREB states lead the nation in the creation of state virtual schools. The total number of middle grades and high school students enrolled in state virtual schools throughout the region has increased steadily each year. Progress is promising, but more is needed to maximize the potential of state virtual schools to meet student academic needs and improve education. The author expresses concern that state virtual schools could be just one more failed educational unless states fully establish their state virtual schools through policy and regulation, including funding policies. State leaders and policymakers are urged to move the agenda forward, using what has been learned to help reform education to meet state education and economic goals in the 21st century.
Descriptors: High School Students, Educational Finance, Middle School Students, Virtual Classrooms, Enrollment Rate, State Programs, School Support, State Aid, Educational Policy, Educational Technology, Distance Education
Southern Regional Education Board. 592 10th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318-5790. Tel: 404-875-9211; Fax: 404-872-1477; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.sreb.org/main/Publications/catalog/srebcatalog.asp
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board