I tend to think I am aware of current trends, but sometimes I am wrong. I know that distance education has been working its way into K-12 settings and I knew there were companies and organizations promoting such opportunities and offering service, but I would have been very wrong in predicting the level of student participation.
The Center For Educational Statistics has released a study providing data on distance education participation through 2003. About 36% of school districts had students enrolled in on-line courses. The main explanation given by districts is that online courses provided opportunities not available within the district. For example, rural districts may not be able to provide AP or language courses. Two-way interactive video is the most common delivery format.
The largest provider category is higher education with other K-12 districts as the next most common.