State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > California > Edc > 51865

EDUCATION CODE
SECTION 51865



51865.  (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that legislation be
enacted to implement the policy objectives set forth in this section
with regard to distance learning. For purposes of this article,
"distance learning" means instruction in which the pupil and
instructor are in different locations and interact through the use of
computer and communications technology. Distance learning may
include video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of
communication between pupil and instructor is instructional
television, video, telecourses, or any other instruction that relies
on computer or communications technology.
   (b) Distance learning should be utilized by the state to achieve
the following educational goals:
   (1) Equity in education, which requires that every pupil in
California's public schools, and every adult in the state, have equal
access to educational opportunities, regardless of where he or she
lives or how small a school the pupil attends.
   (2) Quality in education, which would be enhanced through the
creative application of telecommunications, as pupils are given the
opportunity to interact with pupils from other cultures and
geographical locations, and with outstanding educators from other
educational institutions.
   (3) Diversity among educational institutions, which has been
recognized in California through the support of various types of
public educational institutions as well as of independent and private
colleges and universities. Distance learning technology permits
greater diversity in the means of instruction and in the delivery of
educational and training services to an adult population that is more
and more likely to seek education outside of the traditional
baccalaureate program designed for four consecutive years on a
full-time basis shortly after graduating from high school.
   (4) Efficiency and accountability, which receive increasing
emphasis as state budget resources become increasingly restricted.
Distance learning technologies can be effective only through the
cooperative efforts of individuals from different institutions, a
collaboration that has the potential to reduce costs and increase
efficiency. A technology-integrated educational delivery system would
allow for the electronic transmittal of files and reports, thus
providing the information needed for accountability more rapidly and
at a lower cost, and for video teleconferencing for state and local
education and other government agencies, thereby diminishing travel
requirements.
   (c)  To the extent that funding is made available for this
purpose, a coordinated distance learning system should be developed
to serve the following high priority education needs:
   (1) The enhancement of work force skills and competency in the
adult population.
   (2) The expansion of adult education classes in English as a
second language, in response to the growing level of unmet need for
that instruction.
   (3) The enhancement of curriculum to meet the needs of high-risk
pupils who would be likely to drop out of traditional classroom
programs.
   (4) The expansion of course offerings in subjects that include,
but are not limited to, foreign languages, science, and mathematics,
to rural and inner-city secondary schools that are unable to provide
the college preparatory and enrichment courses that their pupils
require and that other secondary schools provide.
   (5) The expansion of course offerings at community colleges and
off-campus centers to better serve students in all parts of the
state. This expansion should include university-level courses, to
better serve community college students who seek a university-level
education but do not have the financial resources to transfer to a
university.
   (6) The establishment of staff development courses for elementary
school, secondary school, and community college teachers who
otherwise might be unable to participate in training opportunities.
   (7) The enhancement of curriculum through an increased
communication capability on the part of schools, colleges, and
universities, providing the opportunity for those institutions to
receive various types of supplementary educational programs, conduct
exchanges with business, industry, and government, participate in
live lectures and conferences on special topics, and increase
cooperation and communication with other educational institutions.
   (d) The state should encourage the use of multiple technologies in
distance learning education, including microwave, satellite, and
public/private switched network delivery systems. Priority in this
regard should be placed upon interconnecting the various delivery
systems, while providing educators with the opportunity to experiment
with each alternative distance learning technology.
   (e) The state shall recognize the value of regional networks
serving regional needs, as well as the value of a statewide network.
   (f) In expanding the use of distance learning technology, the
state should emphasize the delivery of education and training
services to populations currently not receiving those services, the
ease of access by educational institutions to the technology, and the
lower cost over time of providing instruction through distance
learning rather than on site.
   (g) The state should employ incentives, rather than requirements,
to induce educational institutions to expand their utilization of
distance learning technologies.
   (h) The state should ensure that the same standards are applied to
distance learning for course and program quality, course content,
pupil achievement levels, and coherence of curriculum that are
currently applied for those purposes to traditional classroom
instruction at public educational institutions.
   (i) The state should encourage collaboration between the private
sector and educational institutions in the use of technology, both to
enhance the quality of education in the classroom and to expand the
delivery of educational services to the worksite.