Today, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission announced eight winners in the state’s inaugural round of funding to charter schools to purchase, construct, or renovate classroom facilities. The $25 million competitive grant was created through last year’s budget bill (HB 64) to enable high-performing charter schools to access funds for growth and expansion, and ultimately serve more students in Ohio’s neediest communities. Nineteen charter schools and eleven charter networks were eligible for the award, and thirteen applications were submitted. The winners are as follows:
The announcement can be found here.
The winners include two Fordham-authorized charter schools/networks, DECA Prep in Dayton and the United Schools Network (USN) in Columbus. Fordham’s Vice President for Sponsorship and Dayton Initiatives, Kathryn Mullen Upton, said, “We are thrilled that DECA Prep and United Schools have secured much-deserved facilities dollars. Families and students in some of Dayton’s and Columbus’ most challenged communities who will have new school opportunities are the true winners.”
Ohio’s public charter schools receive, on average, 28 percent fewer taxpayer dollars (federal, state, and local combined) than do traditional public schools. These inequities are exacerbated by the fact that schools often must use operations funding to purchase or renovate facilities. “While Ohio allocates a small amount of funding ($200 per pupil in FY 17) to charter facility funding, it’s simply not enough to adequately fund classroom space for public charter schools,” said Chad L. Aldis, Fordham’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy. “Ohio’s new competitive grant program has aided some of our most successful charter schools. It’s critical that we continue to find ways to help the best schools to replicate, so that they can serve more children.”