Online education will soon make it easier for students to attend private schools in Florida, where a new law that went into effect on Tuesday aims to encourage more parents to sign up to enroll their kids in online classes.
Under the new law, parents who choose to enroll a child in an online school can do so for as little as $15 a month, compared to $15 for a traditional public school.
That means parents will be able choose to send their child to an online learning facility that’s only a few miles away, instead of the long, crowded commute that usually occurs between the public school and the online school.
For some students, that might mean choosing a private charter school or a charter high school, which typically have more online offerings than traditional public schools.
But for others, it could mean opting for a private kindergarten or day care center.
According to the new bill, parents will also be able set up an account with the state for each child they send their children to, with a maximum enrollment of 100 students.
This will allow parents to use the account for up to three years, after which they’ll be able use it for an additional five years, up to a maximum of 10 years.
This is to prevent abuse and fraud, but the bill also offers some exemptions for families with children in special needs.
The bill will also expand the number of online charter schools in the state.
The legislation also adds more online learning facilities to the list of eligible online education providers.
The state Department of Education says it is currently limited to 50 facilities, and it will expand the list to 100 facilities by the end of the year.
Under current state law, a private elementary school could only be open for a maximum length of four days per week, and a charter school could not be open longer than 90 days per year.
That could leave many parents with a choice between attending an online charter school, charter high schools, or both.
The new law will allow schools to be open as long as their students are eligible for state funding, and will require online learning providers to have an annual payroll of at least $1 million.
According to the bill, the cost for online learning centers in Florida will be capped at $100,000.