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Ohio’s Charter School Laws Earn A “C” Grade, According to Pro-Charter Group

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By Amy Hansen
State Impact
March 19, 2015

When it comes to state legislation, Ohio’s charter schools are just about average, according to a new national report card.

The Center for Education Reform–which, as the Columbus Dispatch points out, is a group advocating for opening publicly funded and privately run charters–awarded Ohio a “C” grade based on a handful of grading points, including current charter laws and state funding formulas.

Up one spot from last year’s score, the Buckeye State ranked 14th out of the 42 states and Washington, D.C. that currently have some type of charter laws on the books.

Eighteen other states earned the same ranking, while four states and the District of Columbia earned “A”s, eight states got “B”s, and the remainder received “D”s or “F”s.

“Strong charter laws feature independent, multiple authorizers, few limits on expansion, equitable funding, and high levels of school autonomy,” the report’s lead editor Alison Consoletti said in a release. “Many states that appear to have all of the critical components of a strong law struggle with the implementation of key provisions, which is why the rankings over the past few years have shown little variance and have remained relatively stagnant.”

The report said Ohio’s charters have limited state autonomy and can often be on the losing side of the state’s funding formula, but points out the state could potentially boost its standing by doing things like improving charter funding and widening geographic restrictions.

Charter school reform is on the agenda for Gov. John Kasich’s administration. In this year’s state budget proposals, Kasich pledged to hold charter school sponsors more accountable, along with potentially increasing charter funding and requiring more transparency.