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Virtual Schools in Tennessee

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March 2016
Authors: Kim Potts / Paige Donaldson

Legislative Brief

In 2011, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the “Virtual Public Schools Act,” giving school districts the authority to establish full-time virtual schools and providing them resources as any other public school in the state. Since 2011, nine school districts have established virtual schools: Bradley County, Bristol City, Hamilton County, Metro Nashville, Robertson County, Shelby County, Union County, Washington County, and Wilson County. In the fall of 2015, the Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability surveyed the virtual school administrators and interviewed school and district officials to learn how the virtual schools operate and how the districts have allocated funding to them. This report describes the Virtual Public Schools Act, contains some analysis of the survey responses, and includes a profile of each district-established virtual school, including funding information.