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BOISE, Idaho (AP) â€” Idaho is set to become first state in the nation to require high school students to take at least two credits online to graduate.
The state Board of Education gave the online education requirement final approval Thursday, despite heavy criticism of the plan at public hearings this summer.
The measure is part of a sweeping education overhaul that introduces teacher merit pay and phases in laptops for every high school teacher and student.
Proponents say the virtual classes will help the state save money and better prepare students for college. But opponents claim they'll replace teachers with computers and shift state taxpayer money to the out-of-state companies that will be tapped to provide the online curriculum and laptops.
The rule applies to students entering the 9th grade in fall 2012. It goes before Idaho lawmakers for review in the 2012 session, which starts in January.