Pushing for online instruction in Baltimore County and beyond
A handful of Baltimore County parents are in the process of incorporating a group to advocate for access to alternative education - particularly online instruction - for all Maryland students.
The idea for Emerging Minds of Maryland was born sometime last fall, said Kia Drake-Cummings, the organization's president and a mother of seven. Drake-Cummings and several others regularly spoke at county school board meetings for months, asking board members to reconsider funding the Baltimore County Virtual Instruction Program - a one-year pilot done in conjunction with the Baltimore-based, online Connections Academy.
When it became evident that they were getting nowhere, Drake-Cummings said she began thinking about forming a cooperative program, as home-schooling parents do to help socialize their children, or to exchange services and academic skills. But then she realized this was "more than just a co-op," she said. "We need to be working toward some other things."
She and a few others decided they needed strength in numbers - and a more official platform - to fight for their cause.
One of the key goals of Emerging Minds is to get access to online instruction for public school students - an appealing element of the county pilot.