As most of you know, Fordham has been a charter school sponsor (aka, ???authorizer???) in Ohio since 2005. Along the way we've learned a lot about the importance of charter sponsors holding schools accountable for results, and about how the a sponsor's size and economy of scale (or lack thereof) factors into this. Today, in testimony to the Ohio State Board of Education, Kathryn and I announced Fordham's plans to merge and consolidate our charter school sponsorship operations with that of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESCCO). We expect to launch a new statewide sponsorship effort in June 2011.

The goal of the proposed merger is a statewide authorizer that can:

  1. Hold its schools to a high-standard of performance;
  2. Support the development of great new schools; and
  3. Recruit outstanding models to Ohio.

Together Fordham and ESCCO currently sponsor 12 schools in the Buckeye State that serve about 3,200 students.??Ohio currently has about 70 sponsors authorizing 330 schools. The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) has recently announced grant support to plan the Fordham/ESCCO effort, and organizers of the merged sponsorship plan hope that other current Ohio charter sponsors will seek to join it.

???Knowing 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,??? said organizers of the effort.?? Read the press release here.

???Terry Ryan

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