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New Law Could Mean Cuts To Lee Virtual School

American Community School - Amman
Flickr / Creative Commons


A virtual school law now in place in Florida could mean monetary cuts to school districts.

The rationale behind the law was to limit the growth of virtual school in the state.

Many students were enrolling in both state-funded Florida Virtual School as well as district-run programs like Lee County Virtual School.

Al Shilling, the Principal of Lee Virtual, said the state will now reduce funding to districts whose students take a Florida virtual School class in addition to their classes in their brick and mortar school.

“What that means is, in the past, when you had a student that was in middle school or high school or taking an arts curriculum and they wanted to make space in their schedule and they wanted to take classes outside of the school day, Florida Virtual School could receive funding for that,” he said. "Now, Florida Virtual School will still receive funding for that, but they will deduct that from the school district.”

Shilling said if Lee County has the same number of students taking Florida Virtual School classes as last year it will see $2 million cut.

“What the state has done is actually made a cut to education and disguised is as an operating protocol for virtual students,” he said.

He said it would be cheaper for the school district if local students enrolled in Lee Virtual School instead, which offers similar classes.

Shilling says the new law also allows students from any county in the state to enroll in Lee Virtual, although the specifics of how that would work have not been clarified by the state, yet.

Ashley Lopez is a reporter forWGCUNews. A native of Miami, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism degree.