Deal would save Wisconsin virtual schools

Virtual schools in Wisconsin would remain open under new regulations forged in a compromise announced by state lawmakers Jan. 24.

A court ruling had threatened to close a dozen Wisconsin virtual schools starting as early as next school year.

But lawmakers say those schools would be allowed to stay open with few changes and receive the same level of state aid as they do currently under their bipartisan plan.

Virtual-school teachers would have to be certified in their subject matter and receive at least 30 hours of training in online teaching. Schools would have to offer a certain number of hours of instruction per year.

State Sen. John Lehman of Racine, Wis., says those measures would ensure high-quality instruction and increase accountability.

The schools allow students to learn from home under the guidance of their parents and instructors who teach over the internet. They are growing in size and number.

The state’s largest teacher’s union says lawmakers should analyze whether virtual schools divert money from traditional public schools before passing the bill.

Lawmakers, however, are predicting both houses will soon move to pass the compromise.


Wisconsin State Legislature

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