Community schools (also known as charter schools) are independently operated public schools that are not part of a school district. They are tuition-free, non-profits that can be online (e-school) or physical ‘brick and mortar’ schools.
No permission is required from the district in which the student resides. The decision to enroll in a community school is made by families.
Each community school is authorized or ‘chartered’ by a sponsoring entity. Community school sponsors provide oversight and technical assistance to their schools, ensuring each school’s compliance with state law and administrative rules. Per Ohio law, community school sponsors must be one of the following organizations:
- Educationally-oriented 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization;
- School district;
- Educational service center;
- Ohio public university; or
- Ohio Department of Education, Office of School Sponsorship
Oversight and evaluation of community school sponsors is the responsibility of the Ohio Department of Education.
Sponsors enter into a contract with the governing authority of an individual community school. The sponsor-school contract details the school’s education plan and performance accountability.