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One Parental Choice Will Likely be Offered Nationally: Virtual or In Person?

June 27, 2020

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As noted in this Chalkbeat article, there is one wildcard in the decision to reopen: what to do with parents who are reluctant to send their children back to school. The article describes how several districts across the country are planning to deal with it, with the polling results indicating that at least 25% of students will NOT be returning to class. As the article notes, this poses a number of challenges. If ADA drives funding, are virtual students counted as FTEs? Who buys the computers for the students? What happens to seat time standards? Which teachers are assigned to virtual learning?

One reality is unstated: parents WILL be given the choice to keep their children home and if they make that choice schools will be required to provide instruction for them. Two questions not posed by the article is this: once the choice to provide virtual learning in lieu of in person learning will it ever be possible to take that option away? And, once the infrastructure for virtual learning is in place how can homeschooling continue in its current paradigm?

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