No action has been taken yet, but next month when the Virginia State Board of Education meets, it will discuss establishing new licensing requirements for educators who teach only online courses.
It reflects a concern that while online courses may be an effective cost-cutting measure, the reduced level of student-teacher interaction could decrease the effectiveness of instruction.
The Board’s goal is to help maintain high-quality instruction as more school systems move away from traditional brick and mortar classroom settings. The measure requires the Board to establish what type of license a teacher already has, what the teacher may be lacking to be credentialed, and what courses are required for licensure.
But Board member Dr. Oktay Baysal believes that perhaps it isn't just the teacher who needs more instruction in these cases:
"At some point, maybe you know just ah, it will be very helpful to the teachers if the online schools were also required to come up with training for the students who will be online learners because I don't believe that the general public is as probably informed about the online learner as they are in the traditional in class."
Additional licensing may also mean assessing the available personnel to instruct educators, and that would include determining the fiscal impact.
The Board is expected to conduct its final review on May 23.