Alabama’s Virtual Schools Face Lack of Online Access in Rural Areas
John Sharp | AL
Soaring enrollments, growing graduation classes and expansion into new buildings underscores the recent surge in popularity in online education in Alabama.
But the rapid growth of so-called virtual schools is likely to soon encounter the harsh reality of a lack of access to high-speed and functioning internet in rural areas.
The issue illustrates two political pushes in Montgomery and Washington, D.C.: A need to find revenue to provide crucial connections to the state’s rural areas while politicians and educators pursue expansion of online coursework.
“This is an issue,” said Eric Mackey, state superintendent in Alabama. “The real problem is when students go home and, in many cases, do not have the access they need to do homework and research and cannot keep up with their peers in more urban communities…” (Read the full story)