Instead of funding state virtual schools, states are finding that students can use the variety of non-State and non-district options that are available online. The Florida Virtual School, for example, has cut one-third of its staff because its budget was cut by twenty percent. With the availability of MOOCs and other online opportunities for students, states, like Florida and Louisiana, are beginning to question the need for state virtual schools.
It sounds like a sensible idea at first glance, but who will determine the quality of courses? School officials worry about accountability when students can select courses not offered by the State or a district. In addition, there’s the problem of per-pupil allotment, for when students take courses from a source other than the State or district in Florida, for instance, the district and the provider split the allotment. If the course is taken from the State or district virtual school, both the district and the virtual school were given the allotment.