Application for Sponsorship is Now Available
We are currently seeking to add new charter schools to our portfolio. Individuals or organizations with the capacity to start and sustain academically high performing schools in underserved communities are encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from existing Ohio schools seeking a new authorizer. To learn more about the application process please visit our sponsorship application page.
In 2004, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation was approved by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to serve as a statewide sponsor of community (i.e., charter) schools—making us the first nonprofit organization in the Buckeye State to acquire such a responsibility. For over a decade we have sought to improve school choices for families, provide individual grants to support the creation and improvement of charter schools, and support quality schools throughout the state, and in our hometown of Dayton, Ohio. For the past three years we have achieved an “effective” rating from the ODE. We were also selected by the National Association for Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) as one of five authorizers nationally to participate in NACSA’s Quality Practice Project, which examines authorizer practices associated with high quality school portfolios.
Our approach to charter school sponsorship balances school autonomy with accountability. In exchange for the freedom to operate independently, schools are responsible for producing results. We believe that this balance is critical to ensuring success for students and schools.
For more information on Fordham's sponsorship work, please see our Sponsorship Annual Report.
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation has actively sponsored charter schools in Ohio since 2005, and our portfolio includes some of Ohio’s highest performing and highly regarded schools. As such, we have developed expertise in all the core areas of Ohio charter sponsorship, including charter school law and regulation, finance, school evaluations, governance, compliance, facilities, new school start-up, school closure, managing the application process for new schools, contract management, school monitoring and charter renewal decisions. We regularly provide technical assistance in these areas to our sponsored schools. Additional resources that may be helpful are included below.
Ohio Sponsorship’s Annual Report
In our 2019 annual report, we provide insight into our sponsorship work during the year and the performance of our sponsored schools. We are also pleased to highlight the good work of our colleagues on Fordham’s policy and research teams.
Our schools' academic performance shows several schools doing very well on Ohio's value added (growth) measure this year, although other schools struggled. We are excited to continue to grow our portfolio and in turn serve more Ohio students; approximately 5,500 in 2018-19.
The report also draws attention to the hard work and dedication of the boards, leadership, and staff at each of our sponsored schools. We are glad that we have the opportunity to support all of them.