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Report Offers Tips on Expanding Access to Rigorous Courses Through Online Options

While there is a hard push for high school students to take rigorous courses to be college ready, it's not always easy for students to find them. 

In half of U.S. high schools, calculus is not offered and only 63 percent have physics courses, according to the U.S. Department of Education office for civil rights.

The report released in March found access issues are worse for minority students. Despite efforts by the College Board to broaden participation on Advanced Placement, black and Latino students are underrepresented among AP test-takers.

"Course Access," offered by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, is an effort to fill in the gaps for rural or under-resourced schools and expand curriculum. Students can take online, blended, or traditional courses outside of the school building in subjects not typically offered. In addition to advance courses, career technical education classes are included.

A new report out this week from the association outlines ways states are developing policies to pay for Course Access, which is offered to students K-12. It includes examples from Florida, Minnesota, and Utah about how to set up programs with public money to cover the costs of the expanded offerings.

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