Virtual School Meanderings

December 28, 2018

Improving Equity And Accountability: Report of the Funding Model Review Panel

Shortly before Christmas this report was released by the Government of British Columbia.  As folks may remember, the purpose of this process was “to review and provide recommendations to the way funding is allocated in the K-12 public education sector in British Columbia,” including the funding for distributed learning (i.e., distance learning).  You can find out more at:

One of the most important items in the report was:

“Recommendation 9

The Ministry should base funding allocations for school age education programming on the number of students, rather than on the number of courses being taken.  The Ministry should phase out the current course-based funding model by the 2020/2021 school year.

Recommendation 10

With the shift to a per-student-based funding model, the Ministry should develop a new policy and program delivery model for Distributed Learning to ensure consistent access to quality programming for all students in the province.”

In terms of the actual content, the main section related to distributed learning is for Recommendation 9, which can be found on page 26 of the report.  Read as a whole, the report seems to be suggesting that distributed learning should be funding at the same level as brick-and-mortar schooling.

You may recall, that was one of the recommendations that I made in the report on the funding of distributed learning in Canada that I authored, which can be found at:

I would copy and paste more of the material into this message, but the Government of British Columbia has locked the document to prevent folks from copying and pasting.

November 15, 2018

[L_OSBC_Announce] FW: 2019 DL Symposium – Proposals Deadline

Note the deadline is midnight tonight.

I invite you to share this with your friends and colleagues.

Thank you,
Michael Cochrane
Open School BC

Presentation Proposal deadline is Thur. Nov.15 for #CANeLearn 2019 Digital Learning Symposium #BlendEdBC #BCEDL #bced #blendEDAB

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November 9, 2018

[L_OSBC_Announce] FW: Celebrating CLBC Privacy and Information Management

One for my readers in British Columbia.

Good afternoon!

We have completed another online information privacy course, this time for Community Living BC.

From their website: “Community Living BC, or CLBC, is the provincial crown corporation that funds supports and services to adults with developmental disabilities, as well as individuals who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and who also have significant difficulty doing things on their own.” All of their service providers must complete a course on information privacy by March 2019, and this is where OSBC stepped in!

The course is free and available online through the Community Living BC website: The course that is posted is an earlier version without audio (they don’t have the final one posted yet.) You can find our version with audio here:

This is our second course for CLBC; the first was the Home Share Standards course<>.

Thanks to the everyone for their part in creating this little gem!

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October 30, 2018

State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada – Special Report: Funding and Resourcing of Distributed Learning in Canada

In addition to the annual reports, the State of the Nation research team also develop policy briefs.  These reports represent research on topics related to K-12 e-learning in Canada beyond the content contained in the annual reports, and are released as separate documents.  The second of these additional reports was released this past Friday.

The executive summary reads:

“In Fall 2017, the Government of British Columbia (2017) began a review of the model that it uses to fund K-12 education. In the press release announcing the members of the review panel, the Government (2018a) described the goal of the review was “to find a better way to provide equitable and predictable funding to boards of education” (¶ 5). As a part of this review, the government panel released a discussion paper that stated, among other things, that there was “an artificial division in the current model between ‘bricks-and-mortar’ and distributed learning, which should not exist” (Government of British Columbia, 2018d, p. 3).

The purpose of this brief is to examine the nature of distributed learning funding in British Columbia and how that compares to other jurisdictions in Canada and the United States. This brief begins with an overview of the existing funding model in British Columbia with respect to distributed learning. This is followed by a description of how distributed learning is funded and resourced in other Canadian jurisdictions. The brief concludes with an exploration of the research literature related to funding distributed learning, most of which focuses on contexts in the United States.

This brief outlines how distributed learning funding models across Canada generally fall into one of three models. First, the government directly funds and/or resources distributed learning opportunities. Second, individual distributed learning programs charge a fee for students who enroll on a per course basis (often paid for by the school or school district). Third, the government provides direct funding for the distributed learning program through FTEs/CEUs. Interestingly, those Canadian jurisdictions that did fund distributed learning through FTEs/CEUs provided less funding for distributed learning enrollments compared to traditional brick-and-mortar enrollments.

The larger body of literature indicates that the American context generally follows the second for supplemental program and the third model for full-time programs. However, it is important to understand the role of private enterprise in public education with respect to distributed learning in the United States, and the impact this has on the funding of full-time distributed learning programs. There is also the issue of whether the government has the obligation to provide the same funding for public education regardless of the modality that education is delivered. As Ministries of Education across Canada review and revise funding models in their jurisdictions, issues of equity and access to effective learning options must be considered. Funding is a critical driver for educational practice. The research community would serve students and schools well to keep funding models for K-12 education in the forefront of their work.”

The report can be accessed at

October 19, 2018

[L_OSBC_Announce] FW: Conference Schedule and Room Assignments

Lots of interesting K-12 online and blended sessions on that complete list for the CUE BC conference.

See you there?

You are invited to join me and Jeff at our all-day, drop-in, Moodle workshop in room 204.

Approved For Publication

*   –

To subscribe or to unsubscribe for the OSBC Announcement List please go to:

I invite you to share this with your friends and colleagues.

Thank you,
Michael Cochrane
Open School BC

From: James Gill <>
Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 6:49 AM
Subject: Conference Schedule

Hi Everyone,

Link to the conference schedule and session rooms:

James Gill
CUEBC Executive, Member-at-Large
Vendor Relations

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