January 24, 2011

Do state virtual schools offer diplomas?

In the past couple of weeks we’ve been asked the same question a few times: do state virtual schools (SVS) offer diplomas?

The simple answer is: SVS do not usually offer diplomas, and they do not generally have many full-time students, if any. Most state virtual schools are supplemental course providers that work in partnership with a student’s home school district to award credit for courses, though the exact mechanics of awarding credit vary somewhat from state to state. There are a few SVS that have full-time students; you can find those in Keeping Pace on p. 23-24 in the second to last column. You will note that even these have very few full-time students; they are the exception to the rule.

Florida Virtual School is the main exception, as it runs a full-time program for students in Florida. The Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP) was an exception in that it offered a full-time school when it was created. More recently, however, funding for MoVIP has been significantly cut.

In quite a few states with state virtual schools, online charter schools and district programs offer a full-time online option for students. Examples of states that have both a state virtual school and full-time online schools include Florida, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina. In those states, the state virtual school and the full-time schools fill different niches and together provide a range of online opportunities to students.

A few state virtual schools have considered offering full-time schools and diplomas. In some cases the motivation for considering this option is in part to tap into the sources of per-student funding that are available to full-time schools and are not available to state virtual schools. Most state virtual schools, however, are wary of getting into a situation where they might be seen as competing with districts for students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera