Ohio officials forego $22 million in charter school grants

Ohio Statehouse. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio state officials have turned down $22 million out of $71 million in federal charter school expansion grants, saying they don’t think enough potential schools will meet the high-performance ratings needed to qualify.

The grant money is for new schools opened by sponsors receiving ratings of “effective” or “exemplary.” Those are the two highest of five possible ratings on new state sponsor evaluations. Ohio officials say only five of 65 sponsors achieved “effective” ratings and none were rated “exemplary” last fall.

State Superintendent Paolo Demaria told the U.S. Department of Education that requiring higher performance ratings will increase accountability and create “high-quality community schools.”

Ohio’s former charter schools chief David Hansen resigned in 2015 after acknowledging he omitted data of poor-performing online charter schools in evaluations of their sponsors.

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