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Virtual schools booming, while states mull warnings about lack of oversight
DENVER (AP) ' More schoolchildren than ever are taking their classes online, using technology to avoid long commutes to school, add courses they wouldn't otherwise be able to take ' and save their school districts money.
But as states pour money into virtual classrooms, with an estimated 200,000 virtual K-12 students in 40 states, educators are raising questions about online learning. States are taking halting steps to increase oversight, but regulation isn't moving nearly as fast as the virtual school boom.
The online school debate pits traditional education backers, often teachers' unions, against lawmakers tempted by the promise of cheaper online schools and school-choice advocates who believe private companies will apply cutting-edge technology to education.