Fla. Virtual School Ties Course Completions to Funding
In most Florida schools, state educational funding follows a student regardless of whether he or she passes or fails a course. But at the 97,000-student Florida Virtual School, the money comes through only when the student completes a course with a passing grade.
Under the funding model, which differs from the appropriations-based system that pays for many other state virtual schools, the Florida Virtual School grew from just under 13,000 half-credit completions in 2002-03 to just under 214,000 in 2009-10. But the performance-based funding model means FLVS also has to walk a delicate line between ensuring that its students complete courses at a rate high enough to sustain adequate funding, and maintaining proper standards for its courses.
The result is a school in which every class interaction is documented, and where every teacher and administrator works on a performance contract that is renewed each year. Teachers are compensated on a base-plus-incentive-pay formula that includes how many students complete their courses and how...
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