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The World of Ohio Charter Schools

Background

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

Indictments Filed for Corruption and Theft at Cleveland Charter School – Updated

A state audit last week found a total of $1,850,489 to be recovered from former employees and school board members of the Cleveland Academy of Scholarship, Technology and Leadership Enterprise, a charter high school in Cleveland. Today Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced that ten people and thirteen companies are being indicted as a result [...]

Online Charter Schools Could Split in Two, Avoiding State Cap on New Schools

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Dan Honda / Contra Costa Times/Landov This fall Ohio will lift a moratorium on the creation of new online schools, allowing up to five new online schools to open. But a provision inserted into the House version of the state budget earlier this month could expand online education in Ohio even further. Under the provision, Ohio’s existing online schools could [...]

Ohio Charter Schools Could Enroll Out-Of-State Students

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Brian McKechnie / Flickr Ohio charter schools could enroll out-of-state students — and charge them tuition — under a provision inserted into the House version of the state budget earlier this month, giving the publicly funded schools another source of revenue. Traditional public schools can already allow students from other states to enroll. Out-of-state tuition rates [...]

Most Ohio Charter Schools Would Get F’s Under New School Report Card System

New state report cards are coming to Ohio schools. The new report cards move from a system of ratings such as “Excellent with Distinction” and “Academic Emergency” to an A-F grading system. It’s going to be harder for schools to get top grades under the new system. The Ohio Department of Education estimates that about [...]

Ohio Department of Education Investigating Out-Of-State Diploma Deals

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Deval Patrick / Flickr For years some Ohio charter schools have funneled students who are unable to pass the Ohio Graduation Tests onto an easier track to graduation, one that allows them to earn a diploma from a private correspondence school based in Illinois and avoid Ohio graduation requirements. Earlier this year, the state auditor [...]

Ohio Charter Schools Let Students Who Fail Graduation Tests Earn Out-Of-State Diplomas

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Adam Schwegler / Flickr Can’t pass the Ohio Graduation Tests? No problem, some charter schools say. You can still graduate. At some Ohio charter schools, if a student can’t pass Ohio’s five graduation exams — in reading, writing, math, science and social studies — the schools enroll them in a series of correspondence courses through an [...]

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