Public School online? - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Public School online?

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Would you or your student be interested in an online public school?

We asked that question on social media, and got an overwhelming response.

A new study in Missouri suggests an online public school program for K-12 students would be a viable alternative to the regular classroom setting.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce recommends creating a state-wide public school after a study showed Missouri is behind the digital learning curve.

"I think it's a really good idea, because I mean public schools today are not safe they're just not," said Mandy Hairston of Sikeston.

Hairston has three kids, the oldest in 5th grade. She and other parents said they worry about the safety of schools, and like this online alternative.

"I could stay home with them, and they would still get the education they need, in a safe environment, then I would be all for that," said Hairston.

Jessica Brown’s youngest daughter is in 9th grade and has dealt with some trouble at school.

"In my situation, I think my child would much prefer to be home, that way she doesn't have to deal with the drama at school," said Brown.

Hairston sends her kids to private school, but knows they might not always be able to afford it.

"We've looked into home schooling and stuff and it's just as bad as private school," said Hairston.

So that’s the difference between this online public school, and home schooling? Officials said with homeschooling, a parent or guardian finds or develops a curriculum to suit their child, but with this home based digital school, students can tap into an already certified program.

Some opponents worry how this would affect students’ socialization skills.

But Hairston and Brown aren’t worried.

"There's plenty of opportunity for children to socially interact," said Hairston.

"Just because they're not at school doesn't mean they can't make friends," said Brown.

Now supporters said this online option could create more opportunities for kids in rural districts, shrink class sizes, and cut down on snow days.

Missouri lawmakers are now considering a bill in the senate with some of these recommendations.
Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved. 
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