Virtual Education Bill Moves To Wyoming House

Feb 14, 2017

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The House Education Committee passed a bill Friday that provides updated guidelines for virtual education in Wyoming.

House Bill 35 sets out how students taking courses online should be enrolled in schools, and how school districts will be funded when it comes to students who split time between different programs.

The bill also changes existing language concerning “distance education” to “virtual education”

Kari Eakins with the Wyoming Department of Education said this could potentially open up more opportunities for students around Wyoming.

“Even more so as we’re looking at a time of school districts having to cut budgets and perhaps not be able to offer certain courses within their brick and mortar, this really is a way we can create more options for them during this time,” said Eakins.

Encampment Representative Jerry Paxton, who is on the House Education Committee, said while the bill is a step in the right direction there are things that still need to be worked out in the interim session, like reimbursing school districts that have virtual students participating in extra-curricular activities.

“I have a lot of concerns about the activity part of this. There is an expense involved with having a student play football, or being in FBLA or FFA or something like that. I wouldn’t want a home district have to absorb that cost without some kind of reimbursement,” Paxton said.

The bill now goes to the House floor for further consideration.