The first public charter schools opened in Ohio more than 20 years ago. Since that time, these publicly funded, tuition-free schools have provided unique educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students. Charter schools are an important part of Ohio’s systems of K-12 public schools and the choice of countless parents seeking the best learning opportunities for their children. Yet there are many misperceptions about charter schools and the levels of accountability to which they are held. Here are a few basic facts:
- Charter schools are public schools.
- Charter schools are subject to oversight and monitoring by sponsors (also referred to as authorizers). Sponsors must be approved by, and are accountable to, the Ohio Department of Education.
- Charter schools are not-for-profit entities, governed by not-for-profit boards — including those that contract for services with for-profit charter management organizations.
- Charter schools are subject to Ohio’s public transparency, open meetings and ethics laws.
- Charter schools can be closed by their sponsors or by the state for health and safety violations, financial mismanagement, or poor academic performance.
- Charter schools are subject to annual audits by the Auditor of State.
- Charter schools are required to administer the same state assessments as traditional public schools.
- Charter school teachers must be licensed and highly qualified.