Many of the online education websites that are out there are private companies that are running online K-12 schools. These schools receive taxpayer dollars, just as traditional schools do. Some people think that this use of taxpayer dollars is wrong, because there is not as much accountability in the online education market.
Many people who are opposed to online education want state governments to withhold taxpayer funding of these schools. Also, many teacher unions are opposed to online education because, frankly, they are concerned about the competition and the possibility of losing employment.
On the other hand, advocates for online education think that this form of education can be superior because it can be tailored to the individual needs of every student. Each student does not have to spend time in a room with other students. This, proponents believe, is a more efficient way for people to be educated. Advocates for online education want to see it become a long term option for students and to be accepted by society. Interestingly, President Obama endorsed virtual online education, as well as more traditional charter schools in his Race to the Top program.
So, what should be done regarding online education with K-12 schools? As we are moving into a more technological age, it seems to make sense to familiarize children more with technology and online learning models. It may be too early to have virtual learning become the predominant way children are educated. But those who have their children at least educated in part online may be really helping their children’s future.
Of course, some children do not have the resources at home to have the access to online education that other children do. This is why there should be more resources allocated to providing more children access to computers and broadband Internet access. This would give children in poorer communities the same sort of access to online education that wealthier children have.
By promoting more online education opportunities for all children, we stand a real chance of boosting educational equality.