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Distance learning

Question:
What percentage of elementary and secondary schools offer distance education?

Response:

During the 2017–18 school year, about 21 percent of public schools and 13 percent of private schools offered any courses entirely online. Among public schools, a higher percentage of charter schools (30 percent) offered any courses entirely online, compared to traditional public schools (20 percent).

During the 2015–16 school year, about 21 percent of public schools nationwide offered at least one course entirely online. This was more common among public charter schools (29 percent) than it was among traditional public schools (20 percent). Offering one or more classes that were entirely online was much more common among high (58 percent) or combined (64 percent) schools, and very small (45 percent) or very large (44 percent) schools than for all public schools (21 percent). Among schools offering online courses, relatively more public charter schools offered all of their classes online (14 percent) than traditional public schools (5 percent).

Number and percentage of schools that offered any courses entirely online, and among those schools that offered courses entirely online, the percentage distribution of schools, by number of courses that are offered online and selected school characteristics: 2015–16
Selected school characteristics Number of schools that offered courses entirely online Percent of schools that offered courses entirely online Among schools that offered at least one course entirely online, percentage distribution of schools that offered
One or a few courses online Some courses, but less than half of all courses online About half of all courses online A majority of all courses online Offered all courses online
All public schools 19,000 21.1 58.9 26.6 3.0 5.7 5.7
School classification
Traditional public 17,100 20.4 59.8 27.0 2.9 5.5 4.8
Charter school 2,000 28.6 51.6 23.5 3.6 7.5 13.9
School level
Primary 1,700 3.4 81.9 8.4 !
Middle 1,800 12.8 78.3 8.2 ! 4.6
High 10,300 57.5 53.8 32.2 3.6 6.7 3.6
Combined 5,300 63.9 55.0 27.8 2.3 5.1 9.7
Student enrollment
Less than 100 2,900 44.8 36.3 23.4 6.1 14.6 19.7
100-199 2,100 28.8 52.4 30.0 7.6 6.3 !
200-499 5,600 15.7 64.3 27.4 1.1 3.5 3.7 !
500-749 3,000 13.2 67.8 23.0 3.8 4.3
750-999 1,500 16.2 70.8 24.6
1,000 or more 3,900 44.0 60.3 29.9 2.9 4.0 3.0 !

! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 percent and 50 percent (i.e., the standard error is at least 30 percent and less than 50 percent of the estimate).

Reporting standards not met. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is 50 percent or greater (i.e., the standard error is 50 percent or more of the estimate) or the response rate is below 50 percent.

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and because some data are not shown.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States: Results From the 2017–18 National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look (NCES 2019-140) and U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Characteristics of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States: Results From the 2015–16 National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look (NCES 2017-071).

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