Ohio e-schools feel budget squeeze

Parents and students of Ohio’s online schools fear that when lawmakers pass the state budget, the state’s 28 internet-based charter schools will disappear into cyberspace, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Lawmakers this week are trying to bridge wide gaps between House and Senate versions of the proposed state budget and plug a projected $3.2 billion hole in revenue projections. Observers predict that some unpopular spending cuts may get a second look, including school cuts. Online charter schools are among the most vulnerable. "My hunch is that the pain will be distributed fairly across the district schools and the brick-and-mortar schools, with the cyber charters taking a larger hit," predicted Terry Ryan, a vice president at the Thomas Fordham Institute, a think tank in Dayton and Washington, D.C. Gov. Ted Strickland has proposed cutting e-school funding by about 70 percent in budget plans later adopted and modified by the House. Other charter schools would lose about 20 percent, but traditional public schools would maintain funding…

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