|Statewide Virtual Schools See Historic Growth with Blackboard|
Growing Number of States Invest in Online Education with Blackboard
WASHINGTON, April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Statewide virtual schools are experiencing historic growth as states invest more in online education, even in a difficult economy. Many virtual schools have selected Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq:BBBB) as their technology partner, including Florida Virtual School, the nation's largest, which announced a partnership with Blackboard in January.
Twenty-seven states have established statewide virtual schools in an effort to increase educational opportunity for students, and together they saw 320,000 course enrollments in 2008-09 according to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning, a report from the Evergreen Education Group. Many of those schools – 10 statewide virtuals – have partnered with Blackboard to support their online education programs.
The Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) has seen an average 50 percent growth year over year working with Blackboard, increasing from 6,619 enrollments in 2008 to 14,500 this year. In addition to saving schools and families money, the academy saves the state nearly $4 million a year in teacher salaries, district costs for student remediation, and out of pocket costs families must pay for online classes from other providers, according to estimates from IDLA CEO Donna Hutchison.