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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

Department of Education Moves To Quash Six New Charter Schools

The Ohio Department of Education has told three charter school sponsors that applications they’ve received for six new schools are flawed, and warned them against allowing them to open. It’s the first time the department has issued such warnings to charter school sponsors, according to spokesman John Charlton. In one case, Educational Resource Consultants of [...]

Report Fuels Debate About Ohio’s Method For Funding Charter Schools

KRISTIE WELLS / FLICKR A new report adds to the ongoing tension between publically funded, but privately operated charter schools and traditional public schools. Innovation Ohio’s recent analysis shows that half of the money transferred from school districts to charter schools in the 2012-2013 school year went to charters with lower performance ratings on the [...]

The Sound of Ideas: The Dropout Crisis

Not getting a high school diploma can cost a student in the long run. People with a bachelor’s degree make on average $17,500 more annually than those with only a high school diploma. And high school dropouts make another $10,000 less than their peers who did graduate or got a GED. An estimated 24,000 students [...]

Newspaper Series Examines How Charter Schools Operate

STOCKMONKEYS.COM / FLICKR A series of stories hit Ohio newspapers on Sunday that looks closer at the accountability and costs of charter schools in Ohio. It’s part of a multi-year project launched by the Akron Beacon Journal and the NewsOutlet, a group of students from Youngstown State, the University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College. The project began with [...]

City Club: Educators Discuss “Wrap-Around” Schools

On March 13, the City Club held a two-part panel discussing the implementation of “wraparound” (or “community”) schools in Cleveland, the challenges and opportunities they present, and their potential impact on the future of education. The panelists for Part One of this forum were: Martin Blank, president of the Institute for Educational Leadership and founding [...]

Kasich Comment on Deregulating Schools Brings Education Issues into Governor’s Race

News Staff / Ideastream In a recent appearance at the Ohio Newspaper Association in Columbus, Governor John Kasich briefly mentioned the idea of bringing deregulation to Ohio schools. “I’ve talked to Dick Ross about the need to bring about some deregulation,” Kasich said. “If we have deregulation in some way of rules that are connected [...]

Record Number of Charters Fail in Columbus

Last year, 17 charter schools were forced to close their doors in Columbus, a new record for the city. Jennifer Smith Richards reports in the Columbus Dispatch on some of the repercussions of charters closing up shop, often in the middle of the year: Nine of the 17 schools that closed in 2013 lasted only [...]

Why Ohio’s Early Charter School Era Was Kind Of Like Medieval Times

Bill SIms

Ohio’s first charter school opened 15 years ago. And in those early days of the charter school movement, things were rather “feudal,” says Bill Sims, head of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools: Initial stakeholders had their own lobbyists. They had their own ramparts but without much of a developed community roundtable. And i [...]

Two Stories About Big-City Mayors Trying to Set Rules for Charter Schools

atalou / Flickr Over the past year, state legislators changed state law to allow charter schools in Ohio’s two biggest cities–Columbus and Cleveland–to receive local tax dollars. That’s a big change: Before that point, Ohio charter schools did not directly receive local tax dollars. 

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