Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More unfunded mandates with requirement that high school students need one virtual course to graduate?

This news came out just before the Easter weekend but when I saw it this morning, I found it a little questionable and wondered why it hadn't received more press.

Emma Brown with the Washington Post reported:
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell signed into law Thursday a bill that will require Virginia high school students to take at least one virtual course to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma.

The new requirement will apply to students who enter ninth grade in 2013-14, said Charles Pyle, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Education. Current high school students are not affected.

Expanding virtual education has been a key part of McDonnell’s education agenda since taking office in 2010.
The reason given for requiring the online course was to "better prepare students for the job market of the 21st century."

A little further digging by the reporter seemed to reveal that this would be yet another unfunded mandate on the localities.

The bill appears to raise more questions than it answers. Here is the official wording for student achievement and graduation requirements from the General Assembly of Virginia.

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