Ohio Charter News Weekly - 8/10/18


Governor Kasich signs HB 87 and SB 216 into law

Last Friday, Governor Kasich signed into law two pieces of legislation that will affect charter schools—HB 87 and SB 216. HB 87 (which was signed with a number of amendments) will make changes to rules around community school audits. SB 216, on the other hand, will revamp Ohio’s teacher evaluation system, tweak teacher licensure provisions, allow districts to administer paper and pencil assessments to third graders, and make a variety of changes related to online charter schools. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools praised the bill in a statement they released last Friday.

Ohio Supreme Court rules on ECOT

More than two years of litigation appears to be coming to an end. On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings and determined that the state acted lawfully when it ordered the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) to repay $80 million in tax dollars for unverified enrollment. You can learn more about the court’s decision here.

LeBron James’ I Promise School

LeBron James helped to open a new school in Akron last week that’s drawing deserved praise from across the nation. The I Promise School (IPS) is focused on serving at-risk students. James’ school isn’t a charter public school, but many of the school’s defining characteristics are similar to charters. A new piece from Fordham’s Jessica Poiner explains the similarities and clears up some misconceptions as well.

White Hat no longer operating schools in Ohio

White Hat Management, for the first time in almost twenty years, won’t be operating charter schools in Ohio when the new school year begins. White Hat, founded by school choice pioneer David Brennan, has long been a force in the charter school movement. This extensive piece by Doug Livingston in the Akron Beacon Journal explores the rise and subsequent fall of the high profile charter operator.

NCSRC Toolkits

The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) has recently developed a couple helpful toolkits for charter school board members, support organizations, and founders. The first, “Charter School Enrollment: A Toolkit for Board Members,” focuses on the role charter boards have in student recruitment and enrollment strategy and explains how strong boards can raise and use resources wisely. The second, “New School Development: A Toolkit for Charter Support Organizations and Charter School Founders,” provides a wide array of publicly available New School Design (NSD) resources from across the country.

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Chad L. Aldis
Chad L. Aldis is the Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.