Izumi study sparks law promoting online learning – Pacific Research Institute

Izumi study sparks law promoting online learning

Maybe things actually are starting to change for the better in California’s embattled public schools.

The latest: Kids who enroll in virtual or online charter schools now can continue their studies even if they move out of their original school district. The change idea came from Lance Izumi in his recent book, “Short-Circuited: The Challenges Facing the Online Learning Revolution in California.” Which also was turned into a video with the same title.

Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, read the book and wrote the idea into law as AB 2007, which Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law. For the next three years, the bill authorizes online charter schools to claim, for average daily attendance, students who reside “outside of the geographic boundaries in which the school is authorized to operate.”

The law is aimed at students who attend an online charter school in one district, then move out of it. Continuity with curriculum is not broken just because a student moves. Given that these are online programs, the students can be located anywhere.

AB 2007 replaced a similar proposed law from 2013, and this year received bipartisan support.

Izumi is the Koret Senior Fellow in Education Studies and the Senior Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute,’s parent think tank.

Last week, Grove sent a letter praising “Short-Circuited” to Sally Pipes, PRI’s president. Grove wrote:

“This book opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of online, or virtual, education. However, it also revealed the cold reality that, as with traditional schools, our state government has placed destructive barriers in the path of these schools, and as a result, is limiting children from reaching their full potential.

“One obstacle explained by Mr. Izumi particularly stuck with me due to its arbitrary and archaic requirements – the law stating that students may only enroll in virtual schools that are based in the county or in an adjacent county to that which the student resides. Even though nearly all of the instruction is online, this law restricts most California students from enrolling in any given virtual charter school – a restriction not found in other states.

“Thanks to your organization and the diligent work by Mr. Izumi, we are slowly but surely breaking down the barriers to the vast possibilities in online learning.”

The letter in its entirety is posted at

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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