2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 75%
Ohio enacted its Income-Based Scholarship Program in 2013. The program offers private school vouchers to students from low- and lower middle-income households. These school voucher amounts vary depending on family income.
The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship was enacted in 2011 and began serving students in 2012. The program provides students with disabilities school vouchers for private tuition and other educational services. The Ohio Department of Education sets school voucher limits for different types of disabilities.
Ohio’s “EdChoice” scholarship program, enacted in 2005 began in 2006. The program provides private school vouchers to K–12 students who are assigned to “low-performing” public schools. Participating private schools are required to accept the voucher as full tuition for students whose families are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program, the nation’s only private school choice program designed for students specifically with autism, was enacted in 2003 and began in 2004. The program offers reimbursement vouchers of up to $27,000 to students with autism who receive private educational services, including private schooling.
Ohio’s Cleveland Scholarship Program was enacted in 1995 and launched in 1996. Through this program, students who attend the Cleveland Metropolitan School District can receive vouchers to attend neighboring public schools or private schools.
Charter Schools Score: 72%
Ohio earns a C on the Center for Education Reform’s (CER) most recent charter school rankings. Ohio has the greatest number of charter school authorizers in the country, but most are weak. This is because state government regulates authorizers heavily, shutting them down if they don’t like the schools they authorize. This in turn leads authorizers to heavily regulate schools, which discourages diversity and innovation.
- Fast Facts
- Law Passed: 1997
- Number of Charters: 362
- Estimated Charter Enrollment: 121,000 (Down 8 percent from 2015-16)
- New Brick and Mortar charters are limited to the 8 major urban areas
- Virtual Charter Schools are allowed
- Charter Schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management services.
- Ohio scores 6 out of 15 points for “authorizing.” Multiple organizations are eligible to become authorizers, such as local boards of education, mayors, any of the 13 state universities, and non-profit organizations registered in Ohio.However, authorizers and authorizer activity is heavily regulated by the state government. The state government is acts as an “über authorizer,” removing the autonomy for authorizers to make their own decisions about which charter schools to authorize.
- Ohio earns 7 of 15 points for growth. Charter school authorization is restricted to operation in the eight largest cities, and each authorizer can only authorize up to 100 schools each. Furthermore, virtual charter schools are capped at up to five new schools per year. Beyond these arbitrary restrictions on how charter schools should operate, Ohio’s charter school sector has decreased in size recently.
- Ohio earns 12 of 20 possible points for operations. Charters receive a blanket waiver from state and local laws. However, the government’s regulation of charter school authorizers in Ohio means that authorizers pass those regulations on to charter schools. This regulation creates an environment where schools have far less autonomy than the law prescribes. Additionally, the law requires charter school teachers to be traditionally certified. The sole effect of this policy is that it prevents individuals who have not gone through the bureaucratic measures of teacher certification from working with students, even if the charter schools thinks they are the right individual for the job.
Ohio earns 7 of 15 possible points for “funding equity.” Some equity exists in the law, but is rarely implemented in practice. For example, transportation, while provided for in law, is not usually delivered. Charter schools are entitled to per-pupil facilities funding. While the amount of funding has increased in recent years (especially for high performing schools) it is still inequitable when compared to what traditional public schools receive for facilities.
Online Learning Score: 65%
Blended options do not exist and Ohio students would have better access to diverse options with policy updates for online course providers, such as allowing students to enroll with multiple providers simultaneously. At the state level, an Ohio Department of Education cross-office committee was created during the 2012 to 2013 school year to explore ways the Department can support the implementation of blended learning in local schools. Funding for online learning is holding back digital learning in the state.
Teacher Quality Score: 82%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers B
Identifying Effective Teachers C+
Retaining Effective Teachers B-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers B-