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.

Learn More

About Us

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.

Fordham Sponsored Schools

The Fordham Foundation currently sponsors eleven schools serving approximately 5,500 students in four cities.

Read More

School Resources

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.

View Resources

Ohio Sponsorship’s Annual Report

The 2017-18 school year saw our sponsorship portfolio grow from 4,100 students in 2016-17 to 4,800 students across five Ohio cities: Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Portsmouth. We're also honored to have been recognized by the National Association for Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) as part of NACSA's Quality Practice Project.

Several of our schools performed very well on Ohio's value added (growth) measure, and many exciting things are happening in the schools that we sponsor.

We are pleased to share all of this in our 2017-18 Fordham Sponsorship Annual Report, which also provides a transparent look at the performance of our schools.

Download The Report