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The topic of funding is closely connected with the topic of budget and staffing. This section provides information on the different ways in which online learning programs receive their financial resources whereas the Budget/Staffing section discusses the types of costs associated with operations of online learning programs. Also because the funding to begin a program is sometimes different than the ongoing funding required to operate a program, the Getting Started section has a topic dedicated to Start-Up Funding.


The subject of funding of online learning programs is different than the other subjects discussed on this web site because, more than any other aspect of online learning, funding is largely determined by state level policy. This section will be especially helpful to policy makers that are interested in understanding the different approaches that have been implemented across the United States. For program administrators, this section will help you understand the policy issues that determine your program funding.

Grants and Donations: Regardless of the type of online learning program, grants and donations can supplement other funding sources. The Start-Up Funding topic in the Getting Started section provided information about obtaining grants and donations to assist in establishing your online learning program. The information provided in that area of the web site also applies to grants and donations for the ongoing operation of your program. Keep in mind that especially for grants, it is much easier to obtain funding for a specific project than general program operations. For additional information, refer to the Grant and Donations subject in the Start-Up Funding topic.

State Virtual Schools: State virtual schools are created either by legislation or policy action at the state level and often policies related to funding are included in the legislation or policy action. As a result the specifics of funding vary from state to state. This section will provide information on the different funding approaches as well as the pros and cons of these different approaches for policy makers to consider. …more info

Single District Programs: Single district programs are online programs run by a school district for students soley within their school district. Such programs can be either full-time or supplemental. Frequently such programs are funded in the same manner as any other school or program within the district. The main policy consideration for this type of program is related to what is required for a student to be counted for state funding. …more info

Multi-District Programs: The funding of multi-district programs tends to be more complicated than that of single district programs. Funding policies are based on factors such as if the school is a charter school as well as if it is a full-time online program or supplemental online program. Consortium-based programs are also part of this category of online programs. …more info