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Education: Virtual school proposal deserves consideration

Last week, Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook said the district is considering handling its virtual schools program in-house, rather than through the State Department of Education.

If such a move would, indeed, yield the cost savings Hosaflook anticipates, it should be thoroughly investigated.

Through the state, the program costs $2,200 per year, per student. Wood County has 80 virtual school students now, but Hosaflook believes those numbers will increase. Given that there may be several families who have become accustomed to an online learning environment in recent months, he is probably right.

If the program was to be handled here in Wood County, the cost per student, per year would be about $160; and a stipend would have to be offered to local teachers who would handle the classes.

“That is a way we could save a tremendous amount of money by utilizing our very best teachers,” Hosaflook said. “I think it is a win-win because we can use our employees.”

Board of Education members must be careful not to jump ahead with the program before they are certain the expertise to handle such classes does exist in Wood County, and that the cost savings would materialize. But if they are satisfied on both counts, the idea is a good one, and should be pursued at once.

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