Ohio law strengthens state oversight of charter schools

Ohio lawmakers approved legislation this fall that will require more accountability and transparency in charter schools, which now educate one of every 10 students in the Buckeye State. Between 2003 and 2013, federal data show, enrollment in these alternative public schools jumped from 3.4 percent to 10.0 percent in Ohio.

This increase in their use, along with reports of poor academic performance and fiscal mismanagement in some charters, led to the bipartisan passage of HB 2. Under the bill:

• The state will annually rate the sponsors of charter schools based on several factors, including the performance of students. Ratings of “poor” will result in the revocation of sponsorship authority.
• Low-performing charter schools cannot switch to a new sponsor, unless that sponsor has been deemed “effective” by the Ohio Department of Education.
• Agreements between a sponsor and its governing authority must contain certain standards related to academic performance and fiscal management.
Charter schools operate in all but three Midwestern states: Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Stateline Midwest: November 20153.16 MB