Does Rural Differ? Comparing Parent and Student Reasons for Choosing Cyber Schooling

Dennis Beck, Robert Maranto, M. Danish Shakeel


Cyber-schooling offers potentially greater benefits for rural than urban students, by providing a broader range of courses, ending long commutes, and offering more developed special education services than typically found in rural public schools. We survey students (n=269, 53.7% response rate) and parents (232, 48.7%) at a cyber-charter school dubbed SunTech, to test whether rural subjects choose cyber schooling for distinct reasons. Factor analyses and OLS regressions indicate that rural parents are more apt to choose SunTech for structural reasons such as its broader range of classes and to avoid long commutes to school. In contrast, students were more likely to rank curricular reasons as driving their decision to choose SunTech. Rural status did not affect how either students or parents graded the school (A-F).


cyber schooling; rural schooling; parental choice; parent satisfaction; student satisfaction; rural charter schooling; rural education markets; rural cyber schooling


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