This year there has been a large push for the growth of online education, K-12 through higher education. Ohio has more than 31,000 students enrolled in full-time online schools, making it the state with the second-largest enrollment in that category. Arizona takes the lead with about 37,000 students.
Ohio currently has seven e-schools. In the past the state budget did not allow for more schools to open. However, the 2011 state budget changed that, allowing up to five new online schools to open each year starting January 2013. Online schools in Ohio received $209 million from state funds for the 2010-2011 school year. Online schools offer cost savings in a number of different ways: school building costs, cafeteria costs, and transportation costs. The growth of e-learning is strongly encouraged by state lawmakers. Governor John Kasich is asking lawmakers to support the expansion of blended learning environments in local schools. Blending learning courses blend online and face-to-face learning. A substantial portion of the course content is delivered online and students may be asked to engage in discussions through online forums. Ohio plans to expand the number of online schools to provide more access to students, and because these programs are funded by the state, they are free.
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