Online learning and the 2012 election

Though the education issues didn’t get quite as much media time as the presidential race in this year’s election, voters made significant decisions in many states, and in some states specifically in the field of online learning. Idaho: Perhaps the most dramatic change was voters repealing Propositions 1, 2, and 3 in Idaho. The measures included a statewide one-to-one laptop initiative, a two-course online learning requirement, and fractional ADA funding that would have helped fund the required online courses for students. (We’ll dig into what happened in Idaho in much more detail in a post in the near future.)

Indiana Incumbent State Superintendent Tony Bennett lost his seat; his opponent, Glenda Ritz, was strongly supported by Indiana’s unions who did not support Bennett’s education reform agenda, including a voucher program and a revamped teacher evaluation system.

Georgia has had a roller coaster history in regard to charter schools (see our blog post and Keeping Pace 2011 pp. 32-33 for details). In the November 2012 election, voters passed House Resolution 1162, the Georgia Charter Schools Amendment, allowing for a statewide charter school commission. The bill preserves the authority of local districts to approve charters, but provides another means by which statewide charters can be approved.

California voters passed modest increases to student funding through increased tax revenue; the increases will prevent deep cuts planned for as a result of this year’s budget passed by the governor and legislature.

Washington passed Initiative 1240, which allows charter schools for the first time in the state. It is silent on virtual charters, so we will watch to see if they are made available to students.

The landscape continues to change; keep an eye on this blog for updates.