Friday, February 6, 2015

Support Oregon Virtual Schools!

Oregon's virtual schools are under threat of having their funding cut off through House Bill 2170.  An article about Oregon's virtual schools and HB 2170 is here: http://watchdog.org/197646/virtual-charter-school-oregon/  Here's some reasons we should all care about virtual schools. 
  • Many kids, for many reasons, are not receiving a quality education in public school.  This is one more option that may be a good fit for individual families. The kids of today are the people who will be in control of our future.  It hurts all of us when any child cannot get the best education possible.
  • The future of education may well be online.  While millions of Americans are discovering that they can work online from anywhere and can have flexible hours, it only makes sense that school districts discover that learning can happen anywhere.  The cost to educate kids via a virtual school is about $6,200 per student less than what it costs to educate them in a traditional brick-and-mortar school.  When more kids take this option, it saves everyone money.  
  • An online education can mean learning from experts worldwide. This literally opens up a world of possibilities. 
  • For many parents, homeschooling with a virtual school gives them the peace of mind that enables them to take the leap into educating their kids at home.  Without this option, they wouldn't give it a try.
  • High school through a virtual school gives independent learners a chance to earn a traditional high school diploma in a time when many colleges and universities are just learning how to process applications from homeschoolers. It offers free access to classes in things parents might need outside resources for, such as advanced mathematics classes. And it may offer access to participation in team sports with less red tape.  
If you care about virtual schools and want to preserve this option for Oregon students, please consider letting your representative know!  You can find your representatives here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html  If your child is enrolled in a virtual school, please check out the Oregon Virtual Public Schools Alliance here: http://www.oregonvirtualschools.org  You can help them to advocate for virtual schools through joining their Parent Coalition, filling out their survey to tell your representative why virtual schools matter to you, and by attending Capitol Day in Salem on April 16. 

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