Stretching the School Dollar: Insights for the Buckeye

District superintendents, treasurers,
lawmakers, policymakers, and education reformers gathered September
27 in Columbus to find solutions to tight education budgets at our
Stretching the School Dollar event, which was co-hosted by
the Ohio Grantmakers Forum and KidsOhio. (Read about the book,
Stretching the School Dollar, published by Harvard
Education Press, here).
Discussing smart cost savings were economist Marguerite Roza, Steven
Wilson of the NYC-based charter management organization Ascend
Learning, and Fordham’s own Eric Osberg and Terry Ryan.

You can view the panelists’ Power Point presentation online here.
And be sure to check out the full video of our event, “Stretching
the School Dollar: Insights for the Buckeye State,” online here.

Read what others had to say about it:

warns that education spending has to change,
Forum on School Budget Challenges Casts Wary Eye
on Small Class Sizes, Hannah Report; subscription

In November, Terry Ryan also presented on this topic --
"doing more with less" in education-- at Ohio Grantmakers Forum's 2010
annual conference in Cincinnati. View the PowerPoint presentation here.



 2010 NACSA Leadership Conference

Terry Ryan and Kathryn Mullen Upton were
the presenters at the National Association of Charter
School Authorizers' annual conference, held in October in Phoenix.
Terry joined representatives from Renaissance School Services and
Imagine Schools for a lively debate about what authorizers and
management organizations wish the other would do.  He and James
Merriman of the New York City Charter School Center shared the
challenges and unintended consequences of charter laws, policies,
and authorizer actions in New York and Ohio. Kathryn co-led a
session in which participants made fast-paced, live-action decisions
about whether to close (fictitious) failing schools.  Finally,
Terry joined colleagues from Ohio and Minnesota to share how they
are using grant dollars from NACSA’s Fund for
Authorizing Excellence
to improve authorizing policies and

Also related to charter school quality, Terry Ryan led a
professional development session jointly with Bill Sims, president of
the Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools, on the topic of Ohio's
automatic charter school closure at a NAPCS event in November. View the
PowerPoint presentation here.

 Think Tank + Sponsoring Charter Schools = Harder Than It

Co-authors of Ohio’s Education Reform Challenges
Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Terry Ryan participated in three book
events in August. The first event, hosted by the Ohio Alliance for
Public Charter Schools, took place at Horizon
Science Academy High School in Columbus
and was attended mostly
by folks from the charter school world (and charter advocates

The second was held at the Columbus Metropolitan Club (CMC),
where they were joined by Jim Mahoney, executive director of
Battelle for Kids, and Brad Mitchell, director of Battelle-OSU STEM
Education & Economic Development Engagement to talk about
charter schools – and other reform issues ranging from STEM and
project-based learning to teacher compensation and Race to the Top –
with central Ohio’s business and civic community.  Checker
encouraged community leaders to play a more direct role in pushing
education reform and removing the “stake” from current education
stakeholders’ hands, as a key lesson from the book is that even
reformers and innovators become defenders of vested interests over

The third took place in Washington, DC, and convened national
charter experts. You can see footage of the event here.

Read what others had to say about the events:

Tank: Sponsoring Charters Harder Than It Looks
EdBeat (blog).
Ohio Needs To Correct 'Mixed Bag' Of
Charter Schools To Guarantee Excellence, Education Stakeholders
Say, Gongwer News Service; subscription
school advocates argue Ohio's system needs reform
Catalyst Ohio.

 Testimony to the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on
Primary and Secondary Education

In May, Terry Ryan and Kathryn Mullen Upton, Fordham’s director
of charter school sponsorship, delivered testimony
to the Ohio House Primary
and Secondary Education Subcommittee
on ways to improve Ohio’s
charter school program.

see it as an inherent conflict of interest when a sponsor also
functions as the (paid) purveyor of services to its schools, or blurs
the line between operator and sponsor in other ways.

 Testimony to State Board of Education on proposed new
authorizing entity

Also in May Terry Ryan and Kathryn Mullen Upton offered testimony
to the Ohio State Board of Education announcing Fordham’s plans to
merge and consolidate our charter school sponsorship operations with
that of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and jointly
launch a new statewide sponsorship entity. The new statewide
authorizer would hold its schools to a high standard of performance,
support the development of great new schools, and recruit outstanding
models to Ohio. The National Association of Charter School
Authorizers (NACSA) has provided grant support to aid this effort.

Read the press release here.

the economic challenges facing public education, and charter schools
specifically, it makes great sense for charter school sponsors to try
and work together in coming months to develop cost efficiencies and
economy of scale.

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