Virtual schooling gets a boost in Virginia

A school without walls that uses technology to bring a K-12 curriculum from private providers online to students across Virginia is the focus of legislation that Gov. Robert F. McDonnell signed into law April 7, reports the News Virginian. The online learning program is part of an education reform package the governor touted during last year’s gubernatorial campaign. The virtual schools law will allow Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction to develop policies for implementation. McDonnell, speaking during the bill’s signing, said the legislation broadens learning opportunities. “A child’s educational opportunities should be determined by her intellect and work ethic, not by her zip code,’’ he said. Charles Pyle, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Education, said the law offers a process for the development of Virginia virtual schools. Programs offered by private companies will be vetted by the state education department, and an approved list of providers will be listed. Pyle said it will be the fall of 2011 before students enrolled in state-approved programs participate across Virginia…

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