Treasurer Sprague visits Ohio Construction Academy

State Treasurer Robert Sprague visited Ohio Construction Academy (OCA), a dropout recovery school in Columbus that provides real-world training in the construction trades, on Wednesday in honor of Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs Week. During the visit, OCA students and staff demonstrated how they’re gaining skills that will lead to fulfilling careers. According to Treasurer Sprague, “This school is proving you can get a hard skill and you can come from a high school atmosphere and go directly into the work force.”

Horizon Science Academy’s new gardening club

In an effort to teach students agricultural and building skills, Horizon Science Academy recently started a gardening club. The K-8 charter school in Youngstown installed raised growing beds so that its inner-city students would have an opportunity to learn how to work with their hands and gain hands-on experience gardening.

Democratic support for charter schools

Yesterday, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) released the poll results from their latest research on Democratic support for public charter schools (with plans to release the full report next week). The poll results indicate that there’s strong support for charter schools among key Democratic constituencies, especially millennials, Hispanics, and Blacks.

Legislative update

While the House and Senate Education Committees met this week, there wasn’t any charter-focused legislation on their agendas. The House Finance Committee heard testimony all week regarding HB 166 (the biennial budget), including from several groups testifying on charter school issues. You can read testimony from those meetings here. On Thursday, the House passed HB 166, which included many changes that will affect charter schools. You can view the bill in-full here and find the changes in the LSC’s comparison document here, specifically on pages 10 through 19.

Charter Schools Program funding

In Congress, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies approved its Fiscal Year 2020 spending bill. While many education programs received an increase in funding, the legislation calls for a $40 million reduction in funding for the Charter Schools Program (CSP). The committee’s decision is disappointing. As National Alliance for Public Charter School’s Nina Rees explains, “The CSP, in many instances, serves as the sole funding stream to help launch new public charter schools and support the expansion of existing, high-performing charter schools.”

Policy Priority:

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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