Virtual Learning/Online Education

Virtual Learning/Online Education

The Idaho State Journal reported on November 4, 2011:

  • “Education officials on Thursday gave final approval to a plan that makes Idaho the first state in the nation to require high school students to take at least two credits online to graduate, despite criticism of the plan at public hearings this summer.”
  • "Schools nationwide offer virtual classes, but just three states -- Alabama, Florida, and Michigan have adopted rules since 2006 to require online learning, according to the International Association of K-12 Online Learning."
  • "The rule will apply to students entering the 9th grade in fall 2012."
  • "It goes before Idaho lawmakers the 2012 session, which starts in January.”  

The following is a nontechnical explanation of the substance and purpose of the proposed rulemaking:  

IDAPA 08 - STATE BOARD OF AND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 08.02.03 - RULES GOVERNING THOROUGHNESS DOCKET NO. 08-0203-1102 NOTICE OF RULEMAKING - PROPOSED RULE -- DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY:

“Section 33-1627, Idaho Code, mandates the State Board of Education promulgate rules to implement the provisions of said section, including the requirement for online course graduation requirements for the class of 2016. These rules will clarify the definition of “online course” contained in Section 33-1002A, Idaho Code, set the number of required “online learning” credits for graduation at two (2) credits, and identify an alternate measure for those students who may not be successful in an online learning environment. Of the two (2) credits required, one (1) shall be from an asynchronous online course. The second credit may be an online course or blended course credit, either asynchronous or synchronous. These requirements will be effective for all students who enter the ninth grade in the fall of 2012 or later. Sept. 9, 2011.”  (Page 216)

This rule was required by Section 15 (6) of Idaho SB 1184, which became law in 2011 -- “The state board of education shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section, including a requirement for online courses needed for graduation beginning with the graduating class of 2016, and the development of digital citizenship standards for students to which this graduation requirement applies.”

Draft legislation about Idaho’s Digital Learning Academy is in the CSG 2010 Suggested State Legislation volume. The draft creates a digital learning academy to provide choice, accessibility, flexibility, quality and equity in curricular offerings for secondary students. The Act sets up a board of directors for the academy and provides for liability insurance for academy directors. The Act creates a Digital Learning Academy Fund and designates the digital learning academy as an employer within the state public employee retirement system. Get more information about the academy at Idaho Digital Learning.

The Florida Virtual Program website reports “All Florida school districts are required to offer an online, or “virtual, school program to students who reside within their district. The Florida Virtual Program is a consortium of K¹²-managed virtual district programs that use the K¹² curriculum to offer Florida students in grades K-12 an exceptional learning experience.”

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