Renee Lord: Adequate Funding Needed for Cyber Schools

ATLANTA—Today, the third meeting of the virtual education study committee group took place to discuss an appropriate and adequate funding level for Georgia’s virtual charter public school students.  Georgia Families for Virtual Public Education (GFPVE) President Renee Lord released the following statement:“After today’s virtual education committee study group meeting, we are hopeful that the Commission is heading toward an appropriate funding level for Georgia’s cyber charter students. This meeting was a breath of fresh air; a very encouraging, open and positive dialogue with Charter Schools Commission and State Board of Education members.
“We remind the Commission that House Bill 881, the law that also created the Commission, provided for virtual funding to be based on full per pupil funding with deductions based only on the actual costs and efficiencies of a virtual model.
“Today’s discussion moved to a consensus number of $5,800 per student.  While this is an improvement to the $3,200 students currently receive, $5,800 still leaves 45 percent of education money that should stay with the student but instead remains with the resident district.  GFPVE remains hopeful the Commission will agree to the $6,500 number that Georgia financial experts and Dr. Alison Powell of iNACOL agreed was a suitable average for a quality virtual school experience. The money is there.”
Virtual public charter schools are statewide, full-time public schools that employ state-certified public school teachers to oversee and guide students’ work.  Under this program students are able to work at home via computer and Internet connection, while still using traditional school materials like text books, under the guidance of a parent or responsible adult.  GFPVE is a coalition representing more than 5,000 public virtual charter school students, parents, teachers, and supporters from across Georgia.
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