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.

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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


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

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

Graduation speaker

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

purple graduation ceremony

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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