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

Reuters: Charter Schools Screen Out the Students They Don’t Want

child at gate

_Bunn_ / Flickr Charter schools use a range of practices to ensure only the “right” kind of students get in, Reuters reports. Those practices can include mandatory family interviews, long application processes and demands for Social Security cards and birth certificates. And they sometimes put charter schools in violation of state and federal law, Reuters reports. In Ohio, federal [...]

Report Says Ohio Charter Schools Skirting Closure Laws

A new report from Policy Matter Ohio, a liberal think tank, found that some charter schools that have been ordered to close for poor performance have managed to stay open with largely the same staff, and often in the same location, just under a different name. Ohio’s charter school closure laws were tightened a couple [...]

Education Advocacy Group “Students First” Gives Ohio a C-

Students First, a group looking to improve education through increased accountability for teachers and principals, more financial transparency in schools, and enhanced power for parents, is grading states on their education initiatives. Ohio received an average grade, but fared well compared to other states. StateImpact Ohio sat down with Greg Harris, the group’s Ohio director, [...]

High-Performing Charter Schools Get Wooed Hardcore

Like the prettiest girl in a room full of ugly ducklings, charter schools that get a reputation for being high-performing get wooed hardcore. Districts and states looking for schools that have solved the puzzle of educating low-income, non-white students want these high-performing charter schools bad. Cincinnati is the latest successful suitor in the dance of [...]

Ohio Department of Education Investigates Troubled Columbus Charter School

Pat Kight / Flickr Ohio charter school ScholARTS Preparatory and Career Center for Children opened in 2004. It received an F from the state every year it has been rated. It posted an operating loss of $1.2 million. The nonprofit group that oversees the school wants to cut ties. But ScholARTS is still open and could [...]

Yup, Ohio Still Has a Lot of Kids in Charter Schools


We wrote last year: Four Ohio school districts are among the top ten districts nationally with the highest proportions of students enrolled in charter schools, according to a new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. It’s still true.

Is Too Much School Choice a Bad Thing?

In Ohio’s largest urban school districts, about 30 percent of students enrolled on Oct. 1 come and go during the course of the school year, according to a report released last week by the Fordham Institute and 11 other funders. The study was based on state data from 2009-2011. And students who move around a [...]

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 »