Some 700,000 K-12 students studied online last year, and nearly two out of three school districts (63 percent) had one or more students enrolled in an online course, according to a new survey by the Sloan Consortium. Another 20 percent of districts plan to launch such classes in the next three years.

The Sloan Consortium annually surveys higher-education institutions to track the growing phenomenon of virtual schooling--but this is the group's first-ever survey of online learning in elementary and secondary education. It's also one of the first K-12 studies to look at both fully online and "blended" courses, which combine online


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