The Georgia Senate has approved two pieces of legislation having to do with online education. Lawmakers voted 36-15 along largely partisan lines in favor of a bill that would require all high school students to take at least one online course before they graduate. If the bill becomes law, Georgia would join just a handful of other states — Alabama, Florida and Michigan —that require online classes. Democrats criticized the proposal as a mandate.
Online courses have become more popular. Thousands of Georgia students now log on for college credits instead of walking into brick and mortar classrooms. But studies show that far more students drop out of online classes then their face to face counterparts. Some researchers at Kennesaw State University say getting on-line students to stay is an uphill battle.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel wants to create more charter schools in Georgia, expand online classes for K-12 education and give teachers merit pay.Handel released her plan for Georgia education Monday as she pushes toward her Aug. 10 runoff election with opponent Nathan Deal.