Online education bill would increase access to online education in California

According to student groups in California, many of the state's public educational facilities are not currently offering enough courses to adequately prepare students for higher learning. However, one group is trying to change the current educational climate by supporting a bill that is currently a contender for the state's November 2012 ballot.

Introduced by David Haglund, the principal of Riverside Virtual School, the California Student Bill of Rights Initiative aims to increase online learning in the state. According to the official support group of the bill, more than 1 million students – or one out of every two high school students – won't be prepared to apply for in-state universities and colleges.

"There is no statewide provision for online learning in California," Haglund told the Sacramento Bee. "Consequently, it's like the Old West."

The proposal would allow students to pursue online education courses outside their own zip code. Students without a computer would also be allowed to use school district computers so they could access the appropriate educational materials and take advantage of the program.

For now, however, the ballot's supporters need to wait until December, when the necessary documents can be completed, to begin collecting signatures in support of this online learning initiative. To qualify for the ballot, more than 500,000 signatures would need to be collected by supporters.

Still, California high school students who aren't interested in attending a college or university may want to consider taking certification classes that could allow them to work with a computer instructor and enter the workforce soon after their graduation. For example, by pursing Microsoft or Cisco certification in a certain software, these individuals can gain the tools to seek growing positions in a number of exciting new and existing fields. 

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