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Education quality has to be focus

It is perhaps the greatest understatement of all time to say that the Internet has changed the world, altering every aspect of our lives.

Public education is certainly not immune to this shifting landscape.

Most people may realize how online access and the World Wide Web has helped broaden the classroom, but we are now seeing that — at least in part — it has started to replace it.

E-schools have continued to grow in popularity and are now pulling millions of dollars away from local public school districts that are in turn forced to do more with less.

Lawrence County is gearing up to address this by creating its own online school that should provide a quality education and align more effectively with students’ home districts, all while keeping this money here in Lawrence County.

Ultimately, this is a smart move as long as the focus remains on the educational needs rather than the financial ones. The challenge will be to ensure that Lawrence County’s e-school provides as good — or better — of an educational program than its competitors and complements the local school options.

E-schools should not be looked at as a replacement for the traditional classroom setting because there are many elements including social interaction, extracurricular activities and face-to-face teaching that cannot be so easily substituted. E-schools may be the right answer for some students.

However, refusing to change with the times and not offer an online program would simply keep Lawrence County stuck in the past.