Virtual Learning

Venn Diagram graphic depicting elements of broadband access and the digital divides

Now, more students are learning virtually than ever before with an expectation that this trend will continueEven in pre-pandemic circumstances, virtual learning was an increasingly common option for students of all ages. For instance, public full-time K-12 virtual schools enrolled nearly 300,000 students across 35 states in 2017-18. This is also true for higher education students: In the fall of 2018, there were almost 7 million students enrolled in distance learning courses at the higher education level.  

Virtual learning can present new challenges for states, from ensuring internet connectivity for students to supporting educators in new instructional deliveries. This page includes resources that explore those issues, with policy implications in mind. 


Policy Reports

Relevant context and state policy examples concerning virtual learning.

Blog Posts

Legislative trends and other news with implications for virtual learning.

Slide 1

State policymakers can support schools and districts in providing meaningful experiential opportunities during the pandemic that will allow students to engage in work-based learning in the future.

Slide 2

A series of new policy briefs explores how state policy can be leveraged during and beyond the pandemic to support students equitably.

Slide 3

The U.S. Census Bureau has stepped in with timely data to help educators and policymakers assess and address the pandemic’s impact.

Slide 4

Competency-based education can help to remove seat time as a measure of student learning and allow for increased flexibility to meet students where they are.

previous arrow
next arrow


State Information Requests

Brief issue scans, typically provided within 48 hours, that provide top-level information on virtual learning.

Broadband Access Expansion
CARES Act Funding for Technology
Digital Divide Task Forces

Searching for something different?

View all available virtual learning resources:

Explore our State Education Policy Tracking resource:

Browse pending legislation on our State Education Policy Watchlist: