Illinois schools opt for virtual summer learning programs

WESTMONT, Ill. (AP) — Some Illinois school districts are revamping their summer school programs this year with virtual programs designed to allow students to complete lessons outside of the classroom. But some education experts worry that online learning programs aren’t the best approach for younger students. They question whether the school districts are just trying to cut costs and redirect money at a time when Illinois is $13 billion behind in allocating school funds due to the budget impasse. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Maercker School District opted for the program due to fewer students enrolling in its summer programs because of transportation issues and kids’ busy summer schedules. The district will host a summer “book club” to help elementary students needing extra help complete readings and online literary exercises from home.