VIEWPOINT: Changing public school paradigm shouldn’t be ‘virtually’ impossible
Guest column by Rep. Scott Odenbach
Over the past few months, I have participated in three meetings organized by the South Dakota Department of Education to discuss the issue of how we can improve virtual school offerings in South Dakota.
The committee was organized in response to House Bill 1233, which I introduced during the 2023 legislative session. The bill was an effort to bring South Dakota’s virtual school offerings up to the level enjoyed in many other states, where families can choose to have their children take some or all of their classes online. A family might choose virtual for various reasons – from unhealthy social experiences in the public school to illness to the child's individual learning preferences. Virtual schools harness the best of technology, the best minds and those most passionate about their subject matter and put it directly in front of students. Whether a student lives in Chicago or Chamberlain, they can learn from some of the best minds on the planet. Why shouldn’t a kid in Buffalo, South Dakota, get to take astrophysics from a NASA scientist? Isn’t this how we empower South Dakota kids to keep up in an increasingly digital age?
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