Fear of the unknown?
The KPK12 blog is back after some team traveling that has included Nepal, Peru, and an office move to Durango, CO! There was a time when online education was still such an unknown that online educators found themselves having to prove themselves to parents, administrators, community members, and those controlling the purse strings. Over the last 15 years, that has largely changed as those stakeholders have seen the results – students threatening to drop out who finish their high school degrees, gifted students who find new challenges, and students able to take advantage of summer school options, among many others.
So maybe it shouldn’t amaze me when online schools still aren’t allowed to serve all of the student demand in their area, but it does. The Arkansas State Board of Education just voted to deny the Arkansas Virtual Charter Academy’s application for expansion from 500 students to 1,500 students. The only rationale noted in this article is that the virtual school’s overhead costs are 15%, compared to a brick-and-mortar school’s 5%. Though the academy director explained that software updates and supporting students from a distance costs more, the application was rejected. If there's another good reason that the increase was rejected, the article doesn't mention it.
Now 600 students on the waiting list will not be served by ARVA in 2011-12. How will they be served? Or will they be served at all?
Have you seen other examples in your state of caps that limit student options? Please share them in the comments below.