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A rural school turns to digital education. Is it a devil’s bargain?

A rural school turns to digital education. Is it a devil's bargain? (NBC News)
“When you eliminate the school, we’ve seen what happens to these small towns,” a school board member said. "We didn’t want our community to die.”
A case study of a distance ed program in Modoc, Indiana. The report focuses on the Indiana Digital Learning School, which serves students in K through 9th grade.

The report shares:

Public school advocates are concerned that the district is acting out of a sense of desperation for dollars because consolidation is on the horizon for so many rural schools. Underlying these criticisms is a belief that the small, rural school district is being taken advantage of by a large private corporation.

“It’s a moral hazard issue — a devil’s bargain,” Preston Green, a professor of education leadership and law at the University of Connecticut, said after reviewing the contract between the school and K12. “These districts need the money, are responsible for these students but the students are not a part of them. The question becomes: How concerned is the district going to be? It just doesn’t have the incentive to focus on these students. They’re just dollars to them.”

 

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