Texas Senate OKs expanding virtual course network

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Associated Press

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Updated Thursday, May 23 at 7:04 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Senate has approved a proposal to expand the state's network of virtual school courses online and allow it to include more private courses.

The measure cleared the House earlier this month. It passed the Senate 26-5 late Wednesday night, but with modifications that will send it back to the House.

Supporters say it increases educational opportunities for students, especially those in small school districts who will be able to take courses online that aren't offered in their areas.

Opponents, including some teachers groups, worry the measure is really a voucher bill — funneling public school funding to private interests — because it allows for-profit companies to offer online courses.

But it contains limits on how many online courses students' can take and districts would have to pay for.

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