It’s digital learning day, and that provides a great opportunity for us to explain how a well-crafted charter school law for Kentucky could actually create a charter option for some of the most remote areas of our state.
You are probably aware that the majority of brick and mortar charter schools are found in larger urban/suburban population centers. But, that does not mean students living in rural areas are totally out of luck to enjoy this powerful option to improve their school choices. One of the powerful ways charter schools can help such students get a school program that works for them is with online charter school programs.
For one thing, technological advances in the cellular telephone industry and with cable TV providers is constantly expanding the opportunity to access high speed Internet services in ever more remote areas of the state. Satellite Internet costs are dropping, as well. Being rural no longer needs to mean being off line.
A recent PBS news item covered the growth of online charter schools in Pennsylvania.Pennsylvania’s cyber charters supply students with all the equipment they need, and the students can take classes taught by teachers all around the country.
The Pennsylvania digital learning experience is interactive, as well. Keystone state cyber students can “raise their hand” by hitting a button on their computer, and the teacher responds in real time.
Sadly, Kentucky’s students don’t have much opportunity to enjoy digital learning school choice options like this. Kentucky does have an online school, the BAVEL academy, but the student’s home school district must agree to transfer a student to BAVEL. That doesn’t always happen, so BAVEL enrollment stays low. If Kentucky had a charter school law, the choice would become the student’s, not the school system’s, a benefit kids in states like Pennsylvania enjoy right now.
Ask your legislator why Kentucky remains one of only eight states that does not have any charter schools, either online or brick and mortar. Even if you live in a rural area, tell your legislator how Pennsylvania shows that a good charter school law could work for your children, too.