Napolitano's remarks at a Sacramento luncheon came as the 10-campus
system struggles to overcome a possible $125 million budget shortfall
for next year, a gap many had hoped would be repaired over time via
low-cost online course offerings that would let the state educate more
students while saving money.
"There's a developing consensus that online learning is a tool for
the toolbox, but it's harder than it looks and if you do it right, it
doesn't save all that much money," Napolitano told about 500 policy and
education experts at a speaker series sponsored by the Public Policy
Institute of California.
Educators are moving away from the idea that online courses can help
disadvantaged students prepare for college or earn their degrees at a
lower cost even as numerous startup companies jostle to create online
universities that backers say will remake higher education.
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