After online school boom, Minnesota districts phase out virtual options
Online learning is working for some kids, but is unsustainable in some districts
January 18, 2023
Online school has been working well for second-grader Lola Anderson. But like a growing number of younger students, she logs on each day to a classroom in another district.
An online education boom followed the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of schools offering virtual education in Minnesota nearly doubled from 37 in the fall of 2020 to 71 this year. But consolidation has started as the pandemic wanes - especially for online elementary and middle schools - limiting the options for families who want their children to continue learning online, and pushing more to look to other districts.
"We had to decide whether to send our kid back to in-person - which she's never done," or find a new online school, said Lola's mother, Denika Anderson. The Andersons live in New Brighton, but Lola attends Bloomington's New Code Academy. "Online works really well for her, so we're sticking with it."