When the online test test gets a little more expensive, some say the system can’t function without it
On the heels of a recent $9,000 test fee increase, many online education providers are struggling to stay afloat as the cost of providing tests continues to skyrocket.
That’s a concern for teachers and administrators who have seen the cost to keep up with students and teachers balloon, leaving them less able to keep pace.
But the impact on the online education industry is not yet clear, and it’s not clear what can be done to stabilize the market.
“There is a big possibility of it just going down the drain,” said Chris Cordero, the founder and chief executive officer of online education training company edxonline.com, which runs online education courses for teachers, students, and other providers.
Corderos company was one of several that responded to the state-mandated testing fee increase by closing their online training facilities and cutting back on staff.
In the meantime, some online education leaders have tried to keep their online classes online by selling courses for the price of the testing fee.
However, the new online testing fee will only add to the problems.
That could be bad news for teachers who have been forced to cut hours or even drop out of their classes to cover the cost, said Mark Sargent, the co-founder of online educator and consultant education service Education One, which works with schools and other online providers.
The new online test fee will affect a lot of our students, who need to learn how to do these tests, said Sargart, who’s also CEO of the educational software firm, EdX.
And we’ll be having to start thinking about our costs and making decisions about what we’re going to invest in and what’s the best investment for our students.
It will be a real, serious issue for many schools that have to cut their hours.
For example, the New York City Department of Education said this month that online education instructors will need to close more than half of their classrooms in the coming months to meet the new testing fee, and about 1,500 online education teachers have already reported having to lay off teachers.
While online education is booming, the testing fees have left online education in an untenable situation, said Corder.
The fees were part of a broader package of state and federal spending increases that came into effect this year.
That includes higher taxes on online sales, a new sales tax, and an increase in state taxes on income earned outside of the state.
The state also raised taxes on some types of income, such as income earned by those working for a nonprofit or educational institution.
As a result, online education tuition has doubled since last year.
While some online providers have offered online education for a relatively low price, the cost is still steep, Corderot said.
In 2015, the average cost of an online course was $2,200, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which tracks education costs.
That figure has jumped to $5,600 since the new fee, which will be phased in over the next few years, Corders company said.
Some online education firms say they can’t stay afloat without the new fees.
But others worry that a loss of students and instructors would force them to lay-off workers and shut down.
“We’ve got a lot more work to do to get our business back on track,” said Corders co-founders, Mark and Michael Smith.
But that will take time.
The testing fee was the most recent in a series of changes that will affect online education.
In February, the state of Colorado increased its online test fees to $7,400.
That followed the $8,000 fee hike approved by voters in 2018, but it was the second increase in the past year.
As of March 31, the Colorado Department of Revenue said that the state was facing an estimated $2.8 million shortfall from the new test fee, the third time the department has had to make that kind of cut.
That shortfall is due to the fact that many online providers are trying to cover those costs through their own fees.
That meant some of them had to slash staff and lay off staff, cut classes, and reduce class sizes, according the Colorado Education Association.
The fee increase came at a time when online education companies were scrambling to keep the costs under control.
“It’s a huge amount of money, and we can’t make that money in the short term,” said Mark Smith, the chief executive of edx, a provider of online learning courses.
“But the longer term, the longer it takes us to recover.”
The state-run testing program is part of the Colorado Public Charter Schools Improvement Fund, a program that gives local school districts the option to spend money on online education programs.
The fund was created in 2014, with a goal of creating 500,000 online educational courses by 2020.
The current state-funded program is set to expire in