High school students across the state are being blocked, at least temporarily, from attending the North Carolina Virtual Public School in the spring because of a likely $3 million funding shortfall, the News & Observer reports. State education officials say the funding shortfall is caused by explosive enrollment. The virtual school’s $20 million budget is divided among school systems based on their previous enrollment in the program. The solution will require school systems to decide whether they want to tap into already strained local budgets to pay for students to take courses online. “It’s safe to say that there are students who won’t be at NCVPS because of the funding shortfall,” Philip Price, chief financial officer at the state Department of Public Instruction, said on Nov. 21. Officials have identified 15 school systems that have maxed out the budgeted amount set aside for them to enroll students at the virtual school. Registration for the spring semester started last week, and officials say enrollment from other school districts also will be capped soon unless they provide their own money…

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staff and wire services reports