Just as companies like Barnes & Noble have responded to the changing nature of the retail marketplace by creating online superstores on the Internet, so also are some education providers making plans so that they are not passed by in the coming market in online education. The Houston Chronicle recently reported, for example, on the idea of “virtual schools” proposed by Rod Paige, the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.
Paige’s idea is to use computers and other technology to offer students who are not enrolled in the district a range of programs to which they currently do not have access. Examples of such courses would be aviation, meteorology, law enforcement, and some foreign languages. State law currently does not permit the district to receive state funding for services provided to nondisabled students who are not physically present at school.