New reports by SFGate state that online school enrollment within the state of Ohio has now jumped to over 30,000 current students. This is a huge increase from the year 2000, when the state’s first online school became available and only had roughly 2500 students.
According to Evergreen Education Group, the only state with more full time students taking online classes was Arizona during the 2010-11 school year.
Around 90 percent of those attending online schools in Ohio are enrolled with one of seven different statewide online business schools. Experts say that if all of these students were combined, they would make up the third biggest district within the state of Ohio. This number is as large as all students combined with schools in Cincinnati. Each online school is run on its own but receives sets of public funding.
Despite this boom, the numbers show no signs of slowing down. Since 2005, Ohio has had a limit on implementing new online schools and therefore, none have been started up since then. However, in 2012, this limit will be lifted and up to five more online schools can be started. At this time, the Department of Education states that there are no plans from any new schools as of yet.
What Is The Success Rate Like For These Places?
According to Gary Miron, a researcher for the National Education Policy Center, Ohio has a lower list of requirements compared to other states out there in terms of online schooling. For instance, he says that factors such as state test scores, finance reporting, and the required amount of time a student must stay enrolled are different for Ohio when it is determined whether or not they will receive money from the state.
Ohio legislators have currently delayed implemented new rules regarding how online schools should be ran and taught. Despite this, the state has set a deadline. If no rules are discussed or implemented by January of 2013, then the rules created by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning will be implemented.
Online schools within Ohio are typically run by educational service centers and school districts. Because of the huge enrollment rates, the online schooling business is booming there. Reports say that each school was paid around $6,337 for each enrolled student or $209 million in total during 2010-11.
Despite the amount of funding these online schools are receiving, the results continue to vary. Students who strictly attend online schools typically have a lower chance of graduating but at the same time, studies have shown that students have the ability to learn as well as, if not better, with online schools.