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eLearning Update: Luring In Pa. Students with Cyber Schools

Hoping to keep students in their home district, some education administrators in Pennsylvania are opening cyberschools for financial reasons, says an article in The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review.

Districts can lose thousands of dollars for each student who leaves the district to enroll in a nearby virtual charter school, says the article, prompting some to open their own cyberschools. Districts are responsible for paying the tuition of the students who live in the district, even if they attend a charter cyberschool that is not part of the district, the article explains. Consequently, the district receives merely 20 percent of its normal per-pupil funding for each student enrolled in a cyber charter school outside of the district.

Some oppose opening a school for financial reasons, the article says, and believe they should be opened only to benefit students by allowing them to work at their own pace and providing a more flexible schedule. But in a time when the bottom line means so much and hangs so low, is it realistic for districts to do anything where money isn't at least one contributing factor?

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