Launched by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, the council has invited Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) to be a part of a national bi-partisan network of leaders from education, government, philanthropy, business and technology to reform the way students access technology in public schools across the country.
“As an advocate of school choice and an ardent proponent of education, I’m honored to be selected to be a part of the Digital Learning Council,” said Williams, who is a member of the Senate Education Committee. “Participating in this council will allow me to collaborate with peers from across the country and bring back fresh new ideas to all of Pennsylvania’s schools.”
Cyber charter school enrollment has exploded over the past decade in Pennsylvania. Enrollment has increased from 582 students in 2000-01, when there were only two cyber charter schools, to more than 22,000 students in 2008-09. Today, there are 11 cyber charter schools operating in Pennsylvania.
Currently, the Senate is considering legislation that would put charter and cyber charter schools on equal footing with the state’s traditional public schools by creating the Office of Charter Schools. This office would oversee all brick and mortar and cyber charter school functions and performance and ensure accountability.
“Whether students are learning online from home or in a local classroom, they need tools to succeed,” Williams said. “It’s clear that technology is becoming a bigger part of a child’s education and Pennsylvania should strive to provide students with those tools that will lead them to success in the 21st century.”
Williams will participate in the Digital Learning Council’s first meeting next week.