As thousands of Upstate children hopped in big yellow school buses and headed off to big brick schoolhouses last week, the state's virtual schools hit the "on" button and booted up another year of cyber education.
South Carolina was ahead of the curve six years ago when its first three online schools went into operation through the statewide Charter School District. The state attracted national attention from the North American Council for Online Learning for its "virtual big bang."
The virtual schools started in 2008 with 2,175 students. This year, there are twice as many virtual schools and more than four times as many students enrolled in them.