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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2002

Illinois Virtual High School Now More Affordable

Lower course costs, added course offerings, and new scholarships expand educational opportunities to students throughout Illinois via the Internet

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan and Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Robert Schiller today announced that the Illinois Virtual High School (IVHS) has lowered tuition costs for fall semester online classes from $300 to $195 and will offer over 800 scholarships to low-income districts and students as a result of new state and federal funding.

"Making IVHS courses more affordable is now possible and is a step in the right direction toward expanding student opportunities and to raising achievement levels for all students," Governor Ryan said.

Fall courses begin August 26, with registration running through September 15. Courses are open to high school students in public and private schools and home-schooled students. IVHS offers classes in foreign languages, high-level mathematics and sciences and other courses that might not otherwise be available to all students. "I look forward to a growing student enrollment while watching course costs decrease even further as Illinois builds its core curriculum and elective course offerings over the coming months," Superintendent Schiller said.

IVHS places emphasis on offering curriculum that ensures students can meet the Illinois Learning Standards. The fall semester offers 76 full-semester courses and 12 Advanced Placement review and ACT courses. Costs for AP and ACT review courses are $49 per student.

"This will afford schools who have been unable to offer a wide array of courses such as foreign languages or advanced courses outside the main curriculum that opportunity.

“There are places where teachers cannot be recruited to teach certain subjects and other schools where only a small number of students interested in a specific topic do not economically justify a course, Governor Ryan added. “In these situations, the Virtual High School will be a valuable mechanism for offering quality instruction to those who are interested, regardless of the geographic location or the wealth of the district.”

The Illinois State Board (ISBE) is offering two each AP and non-AP course scholarships to participating high schools or districts for the 2002- 2003 school year. The school or district must be a member of the IVHS network and the high school must have 25 percent or more low-income students.

In addition, four AP Exam Review scholarships will be available to students enrolled in face-to-face AP courses. Students taking an IVHS AP course during the spring semester of the upcoming school year also will have access to the online AP Exam Review.

IVHS began in January 2001 as an initiative of Governor George H. Ryan to provide expanded opportunities for high school students. Both public and private school students throughout the state have taken advantage of this learning opportunity via the Internet.

To register for classes, students should contact the high school guidance counselor. For more information go to the Illinois Virtual High School website, www.ivhs.org.

August 13, 2002

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777