Policy Spotlight: Reform of Ohio’s Charter School Policies, Including Fair Funding for High-Performing Charter Schools
For fifteen years, Ohio has been viewed as the “wild west” of the charter movement, with a cascade of scandals and lackluster student achievement.
In 2014, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute-Ohio sponsored a CREDO study showing the horrible performance of the state’s charters, and, in a report authored by Bellwether, offered recommendations for reform. A year later, the legislature enacted many of these proposals. It worked: the number of authorizers went from 67 to 35, dozens of low-performing charters closed. In 2019, a new CREDO study showed marked improvement in Ohio’s charter sector.
But charters were still vastly underfunded. In partnership, Fordham-Ohio, Ohio Excels, NAPCS, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) advocated for the governor and legislature to support additional funding for high-performing charters. This year’s state budget did just that boosting funding by $60 million over the biennium, or $1,750 per low-income pupil. This will go a long way to erasing the funding gap and helping Ohio’s top charters to serve more students. Ohio has demonstrated the charter sector’s remarkable ability to self-correct and put the needs of students first.
Interested in learning more about Network members’ charter schools work? Reach out for further details on successful initiatives, advocacy strategies, potential connections, and more.
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