Are Virtual Charter Schools Right for Missouri?
In 1999, 11 charter schools opened in Saint Louis and Kansas City. That same year, the Disney Channel released the millennial cult-classic Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. “Grounded” on earth, Zenon communicates with her interstellar best friend with a handheld video device (what foresight!). While the technology in 2015 mirrors what Disney imagined, charter education in Missouri is still “so ’90s.”
This may be because virtual charter schools are not yet allowed to operate in the Show-Me State. Legislation has been introduced this session that attempts to expand virtual charter education opportunities. Online charters already exist in more than 30 states.
Virtual charter schools could provide an alternative for public school students and homeschool families outside of Saint Louis and Kansas City. The creation of a virtual school network also could create new employment opportunities for educators.
Traditional brick and mortar education may work for most students, but for children who require an alternate learning environment, 21st-century charter schools may be the answer.