Online Learning Grows

Published January 26, 2013

Angelika Weiss’s family “technically can’t afford” online Latin classes for their sixth grader and for all four kids to attend a private school in their southern Minnesota town, “but we’re making it a priority,” she said. “Online high school is a lot cheaper than if he would go to a private school.”

Their private online school offers classes local public schools don’t, she said, such as Latin, logic, and challenging history classes. Many families are also choosing tax-sponsored online education because it costs less than private schools but still allows families to transmit their values.

Last school year, 275,000 students enrolled in online K-12 programs across the nation, more than five times the enrollment a decade ago, according to the Evergreen Education Group. Currently, 31 states and the District of Columbia offer online public schools.

Weiss says she feels more confident enrolling her son in online classes than attempting to homeschool, especially for high-school work. She and her son both appreciate online education’s flexibility.

“With online education, there is so much time not wasted in the classroom,” she said. “My son can be out in the community volunteering or working. Let’s face it: The inside of a classroom isn’t the real world.” 

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