The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that mandates that every school district by 2009 offer some type of online education program, even to students as young as 5, the Miami Herald reports. The bill awaits Gov. Charlie Crist’s signature. While proponents of the measure say it is meant to accommodate a growing demand for online education, some experts worry the legislation will harm the state’s existing virtual-education programs, while providing a boon to private companies that could be tapped to design and run the programs. To overcome potential objections from school districts, lawmakers crafted the bill in such a way that districts can potentially make a profit off the students that take the online courses. School districts will receive full funding for all students who stay home and take online courses, even if the actual program costs less…

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