SB 65 expands online learning

Student takes an online course

             Utah Senate Bill 65, passed in March of 2011, will open up new learning opportunities for Utah students through more online options starting in the 2012-2013 school year. SB 65 requires school districts to provide information for all internet education providers.

            SB 65 states that “eligible students may register for up to two Program credits in the 2011-2012 school year. A student enrolled in Program course(s) may earn no more credits in a semester than the number of credits a student may earn by taking a full course load during the regular school day in a high school classroom.”

“To me, the new law is counterproductive because the whole point of taking online classes is so you can take more than your schedule allows,” said senior Daniel Johnston, who takes English and math classes online.

            Starting after June 30, 2012, Utah’s Electronic High School will be one of many options for online learning, including ones from private providers like charter schools.

“The law says that no one can promote their own system,” said Principal Dee Burton. “We have to give options so students can choose.”

According to the Electronic High School, 20,535 students registered for an EHS account from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 with 9,345 students receiving credit for taking an online class.

            “If a student goes to tennis practice at one, then they can take an online class in the evening,” said Assistant Principal Scott Nielson. “Online classes give students a choice about when they go to school. They meet the personal needs of a student.”