Eye on Education


school by Ken Colwell via FLICKR

The World of Ohio Charter Schools


Charter schools, known in Ohio as community schools, are publicly funded primary and secondary schools. They are considered public schools, so tuition is free. However, they have more flexibility in how they operate than traditional public schools. In Ohio, a charter school is operated under a contract with a sponsoring entity.

Approximately 95,000 of Ohio’s 1.8 million students were enrolled in charter schools in the 2010-11 school year.

Charter schools have been a source of conflict among Ohio’s educators and policymakers. Some champion charter schools as alternatives to struggling urban districts around the state and as an option for parents seeking schools that best suit their children. Others say charter schools siphon funding from local public school districts and do not offer students a better education.

In the 2010-11 school year, Ohio had 326 operating charter schools. Some were part of larger networks of schools run by a single operator. That operator can be for-profit or non-profit. White Hat Management, for example, is a for-profit company that runs about 50 schools around the state. Others schools are operated by their local school districts or groups focused on a single charter school.

Latest Posts

Gov. John Kasich’s Stance on Charter Schools

STOCK NEWS PHOTO / IDEASTREAM Right from his very first term, Kasich made his views on school choice–including charter schools–very clear. “More choice, more accountability, more dollars in the classroom instead of bureaucracy will improve our schools, and we are going to have a significant reform agenda,”  he said in his State of the State [...]

Allegations Against Charter School Raise Questions about Tracking Online Truancy

FREEFOTO / FLICKR Allegations that an online charter school may be getting paid for hundreds of students who haven’t logged-on in months has fired up the debate about how to track schools that don’t have classrooms, but do get millions in state funding. The two ranking members on the Ohio House Education Committee each got [...]

House Bill Reforms Charter Schools, Critics Say Bill Falls Short


Brian Bull / ideastream The House is taking a shot at reforming charter schools in Ohio. While several Republican leaders are praising the bill as comprehensive — others believe the legislation falls short. When newly elected House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger addressed the media earlier this year to lay out his legislative priorities—reforming charter schools was [...]

Ohio’s Charter School System Still Needs Work, Progressive Think Tank Says

COMEDY_NOSE / FLICKR Ohio’s first charter school opened nearly twenty years ago–but Innovation Ohio’s education policy fellow Stephen Dyer said it’s only recently that the attitude around the publicly funded, privately run schools has begun to shift. “I think people are just starting to recognize, ‘look, charters aren’t going anywhere, let’s make sure we have [...]

Former House Speaker Works for Charter Conglomerate

Cliff Rosenberger on stage at City Club.  Former House Speaker Bill Batchelder, with blue tie, in audience.

Charter school advocates speaking at the University of Colorado over the weekend took aim at several underperforming charters school operators in Ohio. They mentioned White Hat Management and  the online conglomerate Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT. ECOT recently hired the lobby firm of William Batchelder, the former Speaker of the House. Batchelder insists he won’t [...]

Charter Critics Offer Praise


Brian Bull / ideastream Ohio leaders are taking steps to reform the state’s charter school system. There are two plans out there right now that could expand accountability– and a big critic of charters actually calls the plans a positive step.

Governor on Charter Reform, Funding, and Youngstown Schools

Just two days after delivering his biennium budget proposal, Governor John Kasich visited a charter school in Cleveland. The E Prep & Village Prep Woodland Hills School is a successful elementary charter that is sponsored by the city’s public school district. The Governor used the moment to talk about charter reform, his distribution of school [...]

Teachers at Columbus Charter School Seek Union Vote

Teachers at a Columbus charter high school want to unionize–and the organizing effort is believed to be a first among the state’s 387 charter schools. A group of teachers at Franklinton Preparatory Academy have taken steps to force an organizing vote. They got help from the Ohio Education Association, and the group’s vice president, Scott [...]

New Report from State Auditor Points Out Charter School Disparities


Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio Investigators in the state auditor’s office swept through 30 charter schools to answer a simple question: how many students are showing up for class? For seven of those schools, auditor Dave Yost said investigators found a big difference between the number of students officials reported to the Ohio Department [...]

Debating New Legislation Rules for Ohio Charters

gov kasich state of state speech

Recent studies have given low marks to charter schools in Ohio in comparison to charters in other states. Governor Kasich is promising to take up the issue with legislation this year to improve charter school performance. While Ohio charter schools average grade may not be very good, they do show a wide disparity with some [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »