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How Ohio Private Schools Operate

Background

In Ohio, what most people think of as private schools are technically called “chartered, non-public schools.”

Ohio has approximately 800 of schools that fall into this category. These schools, most of which are either affiliated with Christian churches or have Christian orientations, serve more than 195,000 students.

Like public schools, Ohio private schools are governed by school boards and must meet basic state operating standards. These operating standards include rules about the minimum school-day length and the subjects that must be covered (language arts, geography and history, math, science, health and physical education, personal safety, fine arts and first aid). They also include rules about how a school should be structured: For example, courses of study rather than completely free-form explorations must be the key components of a school’s instruction.

Private schools must administer annual standardized tests such as the Ohio Achievement Tests. Their students must pass the Ohio Graduation Tests and, starting with students entering ninth grade in 2010, complete the same course requirements as public school students in order to graduate.

While private schools do not receive the same funding as public schools, they do receive some tax dollars in the form of reimbursement for some administrative costs and certain services provided to students. Some private schools also receive tax dollars in the form of vouchers.

(In addition to the type of Ohio private school described above, there are also approximately 190 “non-chartered, non-tax” schools in Ohio. These schools meet school-day and school-year length requirements, maintain basic curriculum requirements and comply with health, fire, and safety laws. Unlike the type of private school described above—“chartered, non-public schools”—these “non-chartered, non-tax” schools don’t otherwise meet the state’s basic operating standards and do not receive state funding.)

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MAP: See the Ohio Counties with the Highest Rates of Private School Enrollment

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In 2011, Ohio lawmakers doubled the number of school vouchers that students attending or assigned to low-performing schools can use to cover part of the cost of private-school tuition. The number of available vouchers will double again in 2012. And lawmakers also tried to expand the voucher program to allow students at any public school to get a [...]

MAP: See the Ohio Counties with the Highest Rates of Private School Enrollment

% Ohio Students in Private School By County

In 2011, Ohio lawmakers doubled the number of school vouchers that students attending or assigned to low-performing schools can use to cover part of the cost of private-school tuition. The number of available vouchers will double again in 2012. And lawmakers also tried to expand the voucher program to allow students at any public school to get a [...]

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Most Voucher Schools Are Christian, Because Most Private Schools Are Too

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