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Starting a School
Interested in starting a charter school?
If you’re interested in starting a new charter school, we are here to help. Please read this preliminary information along with the resources provided, including our School Development Handbook. Then complete the survey at the end of the page and OAPCS can help guide you on the path to success.
Undertaking a charter startup can be a daunting task and success can be difficult. It calls for two things: 1) an incredible capacity to fill the many areas of expertise required to develop a sustainable school; and equally, 2) an unwavering passion for student achievement and commitment to results.
Before heading down this path, take the time to ask yourself a few key questions.While these are in no way all-encompassing, they serve as a good starting point.
- What are your reasons for starting a school?
- What is your mission?
- What are your long-term goals for the school, 5-10 years from now?
- Where is your desired community/location?
- Do you have people to support you in this endeavor?
- Do you have the funds (or a sound plan to obtain the funds) necessary to start a school?
New charter schools, by law, can be located in one of the “Urban 8” district areas: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown. They may also be located in a “challenged” district, or one that is in Academic Watch or Academic Emergency according to the most recent report card data. It is not possible to open up a new charter school in any other area in the state of Ohio. If your desired school location is not in one of the eligible areas, you may want to consider converting a current traditional public school into a community school; these are referred to as “conversion schools.”
Community charter schools in Ohio are funded on a per-pupil basis from the state, which is estimated to be 2/3 of the funding that traditional public district schools receive. Charter schools receive less because they do not have access to funds raised locally by levies or property taxes, nor do they have access to state facilities funding. Unfortunately, many of the federal and state start-up grants have recently been eliminated, so it is imperative to secure substantial funds either through grants or private or government sources prior to continuing down the path of school development.
Researching the Facts
We recommend that you study the following resources for additional information before continuing down the path of school development:
Taking the Next Steps
OAPCS is here to help you provide quality choice options to Ohio’s students. If you have read the above information and still believe that you are not only a good candidate but are dedicated to ensuring your school is a high-quality option, we would love to learn more about you! Please complete the survey link so that we can include you in our database and determine how to best assist you. If you have questions, please email Jesse Truett,Senior Director, Performance and Management, at [email protected]