There have been some important legislative developments in Virginia this week that will affect virtual schools there, according to this AP article. One bill allows the state department of education to help charter schools, including virtual ones, with their applications, although approval will still lie with local school boards. Another bill requires the state to develop policies for approving and monitoring online-education providers, says the article. Currently, the state board of education has no control over virtual schools operating in Virginia. The new bill will allow the state to regulate new virtual schools and outline preferred providers of online education.
Opponents of the bills fear that charter and virtual schools will siphon money from traditional public schools, since the funding follows the student.
What do you think? Is it a good idea for the state to get more involved in the operation of virtual schools?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.