Another sign of the times is former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett's new “virtual” school, K12. Located on the Internet at www.K12.org and based out of McLean, Va., it advertises itself as, “An internet-based elementary and secondary school committed to offering a complete, world-class education—anytime and anywhere.”

Said Bennett, “The center of my work for the last twenty years has been quality—how to get a good school to every child.”

With K12, he hopes to achieve this by blending high technology with traditional learning. Target markets will be home schooling families, public schools, and charter schools. Enrollment will cost a minimum $1,200 a year and could cost up to $5,000 with the inclusion of personal tutoring, computer equipment and other services. K12 will start next fall with a complete curriculum for grades K to 2, adding three grades a year.

Bennett will address the National Association of Catholic Home Educators convention in Northern Virginia July 20-21, along with Cardinal William Keeler, archbishop of Baltimore. Bennett, a Catholic, is not opposed to the idea of creating a Catholic-based K12, according to Miki Hill of Woodstock, Md., who serves with her husband Tim as co-presidents of the National Association of Catholic Home Educators.

— Una McManus

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