PA School Districts Creating Online Options in Response to Cyber Schools

As reported in the Valley News Dispatch, Pennsylvania school districts continue to add online options in response to students leaving for public cyber schools.

Two things to note:

  • Districts do respond to competition, when they “lose money”/lose students to schools of choice.
  • Districts are spending a lot less per-pupil—less than half in this case—to educate students online than in their buildings, a major savings to taxpayers.

Indeed, the options for families are increasing, including the development of hybrid, or blended schools, which combine the online components of a cyber school with a facility for students to attend—such as the recent Agora Learning Center launched in Philadelphia.

Relatedly, a new report from Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education outlines the best practices in the states for high-quality digital learning.