Myths and Facts

torn paper with word MYTH faded out and teh word FACT showing through the tear

Myth: Charter schools aren’t held accountable

Fact: Public charter schools are held accountable for following the same state and federal laws and regulations, including state testing, financial audits and overall academic standards, as traditional public schools. In Ohio, they are subject, based on academic performance, to the toughest automatic closure laws in the country.   

Myth: Charter schools operate with limited administrative oversight

Fact: Sponsors (aka authorizers), which operate under the authority and oversight of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), are required to provide rigorous oversight and monitoring of charter schools.  All charter school operators report to not-for-profit governing boards, which must hold them accountable for all aspects of school performance. Sponsors are evaluated by ODE through a Sponsor Program Review process required by Ohio law.

Myth: Charter schools are private schools

Fact: Charter schools are public schools. They are tuition-free and obligated to accept all students who seek to enroll.

Myth: There is a lack of transparency around charter school spending and fiscal management

Fact: Just like traditional public schools, charter schools are publicly funded and subject to state and federal laws that dictate fiscal management. Charter schools are also subject to fiscal oversight by sponsors and governing boards, and are audited by the Ohio Auditor of State (or its designee) on an annual basis.

Myth: Charter school teachers are substandard and not licensed

Fact: Charter school teachers must be licensed, certified, and “highly qualified” (as defined under federal law), meeting the same standards and educational credentials as traditional public school teachers.

Myth: Charter schools remain open even if they fail to provide positive student outcomes

Fact: If an Ohio charter school does not meet required standards and consistently fails to meet academic expectations, they are subject to Ohio’s automatic closure laws – the toughest in the country. In fact, unlike underperforming traditional public schools that generally remain open regardless of poor academic performance, charter schools can be closed based on their performance in the first four years of operation.

Myth: Charter schools divert money from traditional public schools

Fact: Charter schools generally operate with just two-thirds of the per-pupil funding provided for traditional public school students, and those funds must be allocated to cover the significant costs of facilities and transportation. With very limited exceptions, Ohio charter schools receive no portion of local share or levy funding.