Only one state has more students enrolled in full-time online schools than Ohio. Just over 31,000 Ohio students were enrolled in full-time online schools — as opposed to taking a single online class while enrolled in a local school district, for example — last school year. That’s about 2 percent of Ohio K-12 students.
Only Arizona had more students enrolled in full-time online schools: about 37,000, or about 4 percent of the state’s students.
That’s according to a new report on online learning sponsored by groups including state and local education agencies, e-learning companies and online schools.
State lawmakers have encouraged the growth of online education in Ohio. Ohio has seven e-schools but does not currently allow new e-schools to open. The 2011 state budget changed that, and ordered the moratorium on new online schools lifted in January 2013. After that, up to five new online schools can open each year.
And Gov. John Kasich is now asking lawmakers to support the expansion of “blended learning environments” in local schools. Blended learning combines online instruction with other instruction, like classroom lessons.
That emphasis on expanding online learning to local schools echoes one of the key findings in the report published by the Evergreen Education Group, which advises governmental and private entities about online education. Its authors suggested that online and blended learning are now “transcending their distance-learning or computer-based instruction origins and taking root in classrooms and schools across the country.”
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Statewide Full-Time Online School Enrollment
% Enrolled in E-Schools