OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As more school districts opt to begin the year virtually, Governor Kevin Stitt is releasing more details about the ‘Learn Anywhere Oklahoma’ plan.
The initiative will use the Emergency Education Relief Fund to provide statewide access to digital content for both core classes and advanced coursework to students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.
“This initiative will help address academic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Stitt. “While we must take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus and keep our vulnerable populations safe, we must also prioritize our students’ learning. Learn Anywhere OK accomplishes both goals. It will allow schools to safely serve families with at-risk members, and should an outbreak occur, it can be used to continue remote learning.”
Under the plan, the state will spend $12 million to purchase content that is rigorous and aligns with state standards. Organizers say the initiative will also help address inequality by ensuring students, no matter their location, are given equal access to content that enriches and expands their learning experience.
“While there are many districts across the state that already offer quality virtual school options, some struggle with the costs of providing varied course offerings for multiple grade levels,” said Shawnee Public Schools Superintendent April Grace. “The State providing this virtual opportunity may be helpful to those districts that may not otherwise have the financial resources necessary to expand their online learning options especially during this challenging time.”
“There are many pressing needs, including internet connectivity and PPE for teachers, staff and students, but without question the Learn Anywhere initiative will help students all across Oklahoma continue learning during a school year filled with challenges and uncertainties,” said State Superintendent of Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “In the midst of the pandemic and its huge impact on education, it is critical that students have greater opportunities for virtual instruction. Many schools are certain to have building closures, both short-term and long-term, over the course of the upcoming school year.”
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