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A behind the scenes look at education from pre-K to college in Northeast Ohio

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gov. Kasich's budget would benefit some programs, while others still wonder.

While public schools scramble to find the meaning of Governor Kasich's budget, others are rejoicing that funding would increase or be maintained for programs.
Kasich, who released his budget earlier this month, increased funding for chartered non-public schools.
The additional 1.4 increase would support the purchase of secular services and materials as well as to reimburse nonpublic schools for mandated administrative and clerical services, according to the budget.
School choice is also a topic that's getting some attention from the governor.
The school choice movement leads the way with Cleveland Scholarship, Education Choice Scholarship and Tutoring program, which allows students to retain vouchers for schools other than their home district.
The governor increased funding for the school choice program that is managed by the Ohio Department of Education as well as maintained monies for public charter schools.
The proposed budget would also lift the cap on the number of charter schools.
There are currently 330 charter schools in Ohio, according to Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools website.
Bill Sims, president and CEO for the OAPCS is pleased with Kasich's recognition of school choice.
"Charter Schools clearly have a future in the governor's education plans." he said in a statement.
Local vocational school districts such as Auburn Career Center would maintain funding.
The proposed budget redistributes $1 million each year in the Tech Prep Consorti, to provide an increase for Tech Prep grants and High Schools that Work programs.

Early Childhood Education also would maintain funding with decreases only  federal stimulus monies.
Although, those who would benefit is happily supporting the proposed budget, many others are still scratching their heads and wonder how much money they would lose next school year.
Legislators provided districts with simulations of how their schools would be affected if the proposed budget passed.
Most school officials are in the process of reviewing those simulations such as Perry Schools.
Lew Galante, Perry Schools chief financial officer said they have a couple of simulations, but haven't really seen anything definitive.
Ohio School Board Association sent out an email after the proposed budget was announced to school officials stating that they expect budget bill language - House Bill 153 - would be available in the upcoming weeks.

--Angela Gartner

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ohio college enrollment beats national average

Enrollment at Ohio colleges and universities has been reported to be on the upswing and now beats the national enrollment average.
The State Higher Education Finance 2010 report shows Ohio's total enrollment has grown by 7.7 percent against the national average of 6.3 percent.
The annual report that is supported by the College Board, which compares all 50 states on a series of ranks based on enrollment, tuition and state support.
Education has been a topic on the minds of everyone in the Ohio as well as the deficit in the state budget.
With talks of school cuts that includes community colleges and universities, the report shows that despite these challenges within the budget, net tuition revenue has declined in Ohio by 3.5 percent compared to a nationwide increase of 3.4 percent.
Ohioans will continue to enroll in college for better careers, but will they see a tuition increase next year due to the looming budget cuts?
Colleges like Lakeland Community College in Kirtland doesn't want to see that happen.
Lakeland President Morris Beverage said the anticipation of budget woes was one reason the college put a levy on the ballot in November.
He said the levy allowed the college to freeze tuition for next year for Lake County residents.

--Angela Gartner