By Jeff Kwitowski, K12 VP of Public Affairs
The headline says it all: Money motivates school districts to feed desire for online curriculum
How rich that the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) adds the exclamation point that, for some school districts, it’s about the money first.
“Many districts say that providing more opportunity for their students has been the key motivator for their interest in online programs, but Steve Robinson, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, said their driving force is a financial one.
"The biggest issue is the money loss," Robinson said. "By setting up their own cyberschools, districts are actually able to save money."
It’s great that Pennsylvania school districts are finally responding to parent and student demand for more online learning options. But this didn’t happen by chance. Districts took notice and began to act only after thousands of parents began choosing public cyber charter schools.
Parents would not have had this choice if some special interest groups had their way. PSBA is one of many powerful lobbying groups that have fought to restrict the freedom to choose charter schools and online public schools. Far too often, these groups have leveled the ad hominem attack that online public charter schools and education providers, such as K12, care more about money than educating children. I hope that ends. They have also argued that charter schools and online schools are not helping to improve and expand education opportunities for families. As this article shows, quite the opposite is true. Indeed, perhaps more than any other state, Pennsylvania is proving that competition in education works, expanding choice for families is good policy, and charter schools are an incredible catalyst for education reform.
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Written by Jeff Kwitowski, K12 VP of Public Affairs
Friday, 10 June 2011 19:27