Solving the charter school facilities conundrum

Fordham’s Aaron Churchill recently dug into the many facility challenges charter schools face. He discusses a January report from the Ohio Auditor of State that highlighted some of the policies that force charter schools into less conventional—and sometimes concerning—facility arrangements. Most importantly, Churchill finishes by offering three policy ideas that would better enable charters to obtain suitable spaces at affordable prices.

Lorain charter school hosts Kindergarten STEAM Fest

Horizon Science Academy, a public charter school in Lorain, hosted Lorain’s first ever Kindergarten STEAM Fest this past week. Kindergarteners and their families had the opportunity to participate in sixteen different STEAM experiments, engage in innovative learning, and practice their presentation skills by presenting their projects to judges.

What charters see in Opportunity Zones

CityLab recently published a story discussing the charter school community’s growing interest in Opportunity Zones, which could help thousands of charter schools pay for new facilities or finance renovations (Ohio alone has designated 320 tracts as Opportunity Zones). CityLab references national and Ohio experts and discusses how this method of financing would actually work.

Charters and colleges are redefining success

Bruno V. Manno, the senior advisor for the K-12 Education Program at the Walton Family Foundation, recently wrote about how some charter school networks and postsecondary institutions are changing the economic trajectory of students from low-income backgrounds. He discusses two analyses, including Richard Whitmire’s The B.A. Breakthrough and Opportunity Insights’ mobility report cards, that show how K-12 and postsecondary education “can propel students from low-income backgrounds up the ladder of economic opportunity into the middle class and beyond, keeping the American dream alive.”

Legislative update

This week at the Statehouse is likely the calm before the storm. Neither the House and Senate Education committees nor the Finance committees met. The House has been working on amendments to the budget bill, HB 166. The sub bill for HB 166 is expected next week. The Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC) met on Thursday and kicked off a series of hearings in which they’ll look at the various components of Ohio’s school report cards. You can access materials from the meeting here.

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Chad Aldis is the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy. In this role, Chad plans and leads Fordham’s Ohio policy, advocacy, and research agenda . He represents the Institute in its work with the media, state and local policy makers, other education reform groups, and the public.

Chad has a strong background in Ohio education policy work having previously served as the…

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Madison Yoder was the communications and policy associate for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Prior to joining Fordham, she served as the communications specialist for an Ohio coalition dedicated to supporting high standards for all Ohio students, regardless of zip codes.

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