Requiring Students to Complete Virtual Learning Classes

H.4042 could have a significant impact on the future of high school education in South Carolina. The bill would require successful completion of three high school-level “virtual learning credit units” to graduate from an accredited high school in the state. The bill would take effect beginning with the 2017-18 school, and the General Assembly would appropriate funds to the South Carolina Virtual School Program to administer courses.

At this stage, the bill is very incomplete. It is unclear which courses offered by SCVSP would qualify and whether students or administers would have control over course selection. The bill does not put forth a plan to address the issue of resource availability (or lack thereof). In other words, are students without internet access at home going to be placed at a major disadvantage? Finally, the bill does not suggest a plan for evaluating the success of the program.

Finally, we might add that it while it may be beneficial to students to offer “virtual learning” as an option, it’s not at all clear why it should be a requirement.

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