Term of Award

Summer 2006

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

James F. Burnham

Committee Member 1

James F. Klein

Committee Member 2

Walter S. Polka

Committee Member 3

Abebayehu A. Tekleselassie

Committee Member 3 Email



Interests in distance education, particularly online education, is increasing in public school districts throughout the United States. Districts are using these courses for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to the following: offering courses not available at school, increasing the availability of Advanced Placement (AP) and college level courses, and solving scheduling conflicts for students. Many states have created virtual schools for this purpose. The Georgia Virtual School program was created on May 4, 2005, upon signing of Senate BIll 33 by Governor Sonny Perdue. In an effort to aid those who are involved in the planning and administration of K-12 distance education programs in Georgia, the researcher sought to gather and report baseline data on the current utilization of distance learning courses in Georgia's K-12 public school districts, and to determine the perceived barriers to the implementation and expansion of distance education programs. The researcher developed an online survey instrument, which was sent to 175 of the 180 Georgia public school district superintendents. Descriptive statistics common to quantitative research were calculated, including frequencies, means, and standard deviations. Pearson's Chi-Square test was used to determine if any statistically significant differences were found among responses to the questions based on the reported metropolitan status (rural, suburban, and urban) of the respondents. Results of the study confirmed that distance education enrollments in Georgia have increased over the past five years, and asynchronous Internet-based courses are the primary course delivery model that exists. Costs and/or funding issues were the most frequently chosen barriers to the implementation and expansion of distance education courses. The researcher recommends that alternate sources of funding be explored to assist those school districts who want to participate, but cannot, due to current funding limitations.

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