Recent developments in state courts and legislatures across the nation have produced mixed results for virtual education. Proponents of virtual schools—in which students receive instruction entirely online—contend the programs open new doors for students, but skeptics say they siphon tax dollars away from public schools and into the hands of for-profit companies.

At least 14 states have a state-sanctioned, state-level virtual school either planned or in place, according to "Virtual Schools: Trends and Issues," a 2001 report commissioned by the Distance Learning Resource Network. The states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana,

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