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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Education has approved 29 new virtual schools for upcoming 2021-22 school year.

According to a release, this addition brings the total number of virtual schools in Tennessee to 57.

"While research shows that students benefit most from in-person classroom instruction, districts are ensuring families who prefer a virtual education setting for their students have those options and can continue to make the best choices for their children," said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn in a statement.

Since 2011, Tennessee has allowed local school districts to create virtual schools that offer alternative modes of instruction for students.

Tennessee families must enroll their students in virtual school in order to receive a significant portion of their instruction remotely.

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