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The Rise of Virtual-Only K–12 Schools

As education leaders begin to look beyond the pandemic, some students are opting into online learning for good. When officials at Fort Smith Public Schools in Arkansas began preparing an online-only option for fall 2020, they expected to have about 500 sign-ups from the district’s 14,000 students. Instead, online enrollment hit 3,500. The district paid teachers a $500 stipend to complete a virtual training program standardized on a single learning management system, and it implemented a third-party online curriculum.


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