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Quality Community School Support Fund

The most recent state budget bill established a quality community schools support grant to provide additional funding to community schools designated as a Community School of Quality.

2019-2020 Sponsor Evaluation Tools Now Available

Tools for the 2019-2020 sponsor evaluation cycle are now available

Charter School Program (CSP) Grant Information Available

The CSP Website has been updated with information about Round 3 for Implementation grant for new schools and expansion for eligible high-quality schools.

General Information

Ohio’s community schools offer additional choices for families seeking nontraditional, K-12 public educational settings for their children. Tuition-free for Ohio students, these learning institutions are public, nonprofit, nonreligious schools that receive state and federal funds but are independent of traditional school districts. 

Parents

Parents in Ohio are empowered with multiple education options that allow them to make informed decisions to best meet their children’s individual needs. This supports the idea that one size doesn’t fit all and Ohio’s children deserve a high-quality education that is tailored to their needs.

Schools

Community schools, which are often called charter schools nationally and in other states, are public schools created in Ohio law; are independent of any school district; and are part of the state’s education program. Community schools are public schools of choice and are state and federally funded. There are two types of community schools in Ohio: start-up community schools and conversion community schools.

Sponsors

Sponsors ensure that schools adhere to their contracts, and they make important decisions, such as whether to renew contracts with community schools. The also provide oversight and technical assistance. The contracts between sponsors and schools include provisions required by law and may include specific terms negotiated between the sponsor and the school.

Sponsor Accountability

To help ensure accountability and quality in Ohio’s community school system, the Ohio Department of Education conducts yearly evaluations of sponsors. The sponsor evaluation system assists the Department in its oversight of sponsors and helps increase the quality of sponsor practices. The evaluation framework is made up of three equally weighted components (Academic Performance, Compliance and Quality Practices). Sponsor evaluation ratings are released annually on November 15.

Community School Operators

Many community schools choose to contract with operators to manage their daily operations. An operator works under a contract with the school’s governing authority and acts similarly to the central office of a traditional school district. The Department issues an annual performance report for each community school operator based on its school’s performance the previous year.

Reports, Guidance and Public Documents

Ohio Revised Code provides guidance for the Ohio Department of Education regarding the posting of documents and reports allowing for full transparency of community school activities, including academic, financial and contractual information. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information about public community schools important for all stakeholders.

Community School Legislation

Since 1997, Ohio has supported the development of community schools as an alternative to the traditional K-12 public schools program. Many legislative actions have changed the landscape of community schools in Ohio since 1997. Statutes applicable for community schools are found throughout the Ohio Revised Code but are primarily found in Chapter 3314.