Virtual education options continue to expand for MO residents


It’s estimated there are nearly 300 thousand K-12 students taking classes online – and the number of those in Missouri could be growing with new options for a virtual education.

It’s a new law that sets the stage for growth in a virtual education. That’s both for students who want to trade in campus for the world wide web full time and those looking for an extra class or two.

“I did do some last year,” says Brianna Bundy.
But this year, Brianna Bundy of Webb City is in the classroom full time – something she prefers.

“Relationships with your classmates and teachers – I like being the classroom a lot better,” says Brianna Bundy.

But for high school students who prefer an alternative, the rules are changing. Senate Bill 603 allows any student who has been enrolled in a public school for at least a semester to sign up for online classes with the school district footing the bill. That could be an alternative for teens considering dropping out of class.

“Our schools work so hard to keep kids in school and this is definitely an alternative they can offer students and they stay enrolled in that school. Because that’s what we want for all students is for them to graduate with a high school education,” says Melissa Massey, SW Ctr. for Ed. Excellence.

SB 603 could also apply to other students who want to add an elective class like a foreign language not offered on their campus.

“Really good in Southwest Missouri to offer plenty of electives. However if there’s one elective they’re very passionate about – this is an alternative schools can look to,” says Melissa Massey.

While the state of Missouri has offered online class options in the past, this expands the availability of a virtual education. The legislature passed the new law last spring and it has been signed by the governor. It will take effect next year, in the summer of 2019.

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