by Matthew M. Chingos
January 29, 2013
Full-time virtual schools, in which students learn primarily from their own homes, clearly are not for everyone. Even after their recent enrollment growth, only one-half of 1 percent of public-school students in the U.S. attend full-time virtual schools. The key question for policymakers is whether virtual schools should be among the choices available to families deciding how best to educate their children. The National Education Policy Center report argues they should not be, calling for states to “slow or put a moratorium on the growth of full-time virtual schools.” But policymakers only control the growth of enrollment in virtual schools when they decide whether or not to allow them to exist and what cap, if any, to put on their enrollments. Once those decisions are made, enrollment in virtual schools is mostly up to parents.