Thirteen Duval County teachers are among the hundreds of educators being laid off this summer by the Florida Virtual School.
The online school cut 177 full-time positions and 625 part-time instructors in July and August. The layoffs are due in part to an unexpected drop in student enrollment, according to Tania Clow with Florida Virtual School.
“This is the first year we’ve shown a decline," says Clow, adding that enrollment had increased 20 percent in 2011 and 2012.
"At this point in time, based on the students who are picking dates in August and September to start their course events, it’s approximately 32 percent down than it was last year.”
Another reason for the enrollment decrease could be changes in the state’s per-student funding formula.
Because districts will get less money this year for students who take virtual courses, traditional schools may feel pressured to postpone or deny students’ requests to sign up for online classes.
The Florida Virtual School offers more than 120 free online courses to the state's K-12 students.