Charter schools closing in Ohio

Twenty-nine percent of Ohio’s charter schools have closed dating back to 1997, including 17 schools last year in Columbus.
Associated Press
Jan 13, 2014


Publicly funded charter schools that are often privately run became legal in Ohio in 1997, The Columbus Dispatch reported. About 75 of the 400 charter schools currently operating in the state are in Columbus, where nine of the 17 schools that closed in 2013 lasted only months. 
Some of the nine schools closed because of money problems, while some closed due to health and safety troubles including a lack of nutritious lunches for students and unsanitary buildings, the newspaper reported. Some were closed by their sponsors.

Advocates and critics of charter schools say one way to avoid closings is to do a better job deciding who should be allowed to open.

Nonprofit groups, universities, school districts and educational service centers can act as sponsors or authorizers for charter schools, deciding which can open and whether they should close.

“We don’t have any approval or denial power,” said John Charlton, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education..

There also can be great cost to children and to taxpayers when schools close, the newspaper reported.

When the nine schools closed in Columbus last year, more than 250 students had to find new schools. The state spent more than $1.6 million in taxpayer money to keep the nine schools open only from August through October or November.



There is absolutely no reason for charter schools. The state should not be funding anything except public schools. If a parent wants something else, they can chose to either send their child to a private school or homeschool him/her.


And keep subsidizing the warehousing and dumbing down of everyone else's kids, eh?


Charter schools in no way improve other schools, and many of them are worse than the public schools for which they are supposed to be the alternative. There many fine public school districts in this state and in this country. But pulling money and resources away from public schools is not going to improve them.

Pirate Mom

I believe parent choice in schools is good competition for public schools, if and only if, the competition proves every semester that it is providing, with our public dollars, the same or better for children. If they are not educating children, as public schools are daily accused, then the public deserves to know. Kids are avoiding public school rules and expectations by attending these "schools" but when the schools close or fail to educate them, they are left with no credits earned. At that time is when they return to public schools to "fix" the situation. In addition, shame on the governor, William Lager (ECOT owner), and goofs like Jack Hanna for promoting a failing enterprise, ECOT or K12, which only steals dollars from public schools without educating kids with no accountability.


I believe that this "need for competition" is a myth. Charter schools have been around since 1997 and the schools that have always done well continue to do well while the schools that haven't (ironically located where the charter schools are giving them competition) continue to do poorly. This is not a "those teachers need a kick in the pants" issue. The dynamics of schools that do not do well are largely populated with families in poverty, families that are not educated themselves. This is not at all a slam against these families, just a fact. If every student in these districts was doing poorly, you could blame the teachers. Believe it or not, some students manage to come out of these poorly achieving districts with excellent educations. So somebody has to be doing their jobs. Charter schools do not provide competition, rather, they are usually staffed with 1st to 5th year teachers (waiting for a public district to be hiring) who have no veteran mentors. They take away funding from public education. How about adding classrooms in these poorly achieving districts so that class sizes are smaller and teachers can focus on specific needs - like the fact that "Billy" missed all of last week because his mom has been working nights and he had to spend the week at Grandmas or that "Jill" just started attending this school in January (her third this year) because her family was just evicted from their apartment. Believe me, I am not saying there isn't an issue to be addressed. However, if you really want to win this war against mediocrity you certainly don't need to decimate the public education system which made us world leaders to begin with. First of all, how about if we quit allowing people who wouldn't deign to send their children to public schools (Charter or otherwise) to make these decisions. Stand up for public education. It's your right. If you feel that a teacher is being lazy just because there is no competition I would urge you to hang around one for a week. Yes, in every profession there are underachievers. I think overall you will find a group of people who want their students to succeed and who generally go above and beyond to make that happen.