Many parents may be surprised to learn that just like brick-and-mortar schools, there are public and private online schools. Also, just like brick-and-mortar schools, there is a difference between public and private online schools. Public online schools are tuition-free—families do not have to pay for their student to attend an online public school. But tuition costs at online private schools can vary greatly.
The similarities between brick-and-mortar and online schools don’t end there. Public online schools are typically sponsored by a state regulator or local school district. They must meet state and/or district curriculum and attendance requirements, as well as teacher certifications. Like a brick-and-mortar school, public online schools have geographical boundaries—albeit bigger ones, since students must all come from the same state. Students in online public schools also take any state mandated tests.
Like their brick-and-mortar counterpart, online private schools charge tuition, have more flexibility in their curriculum (like potentially incorporating religious teachings), students aren’t restricted to geographical locations, and they don’t take standardized tests.