News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Education


Ohio Department of Education challenges charter-school operator
State accuses Portage County Educational Service Center of completely disregarding the interests of students, parents and the public
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
John Charlton
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
  • Update: The Portage County Educational Service Center issued a rebuttal tonight to the claims by the state. Their written statement has been added to the bottom of this story.

  • A troubled charter-school sponsor in Northeast Ohio is being investigated for allegedly trying to restart a troubled charter school in Southwest Ohio.

     The Ohio Department of Education sent a letter to the Portage County Educational Service Center this week accusing it of trying to repackage the VLT Academy in Cincinnati – which was closed this summer – as a school called Hope 4 Change.

    The letter accuses Portage of “actively and intentionally circumventing” the state laws that govern charter schoolS and their sponsors.

    The education department’s John Charlton says VLT went out of existence this summer after its local sponsor backed away.

    LISTEN: Charlton on Cincinnati setup

    Other options:
    Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:13)


    “They basically ended up closing the school. And then Portage County ESC tried to open this Hope 4 Change academy in the same building and to recruit the same students.”

    But the state says Portage contracted with someone to run the school who has no experience, and failed to confirm the operator would protect the students and “ensure academic rigor.”

    It also notes that Portage is forbidden from opening any new charter schools because of its own history of running low-performing schools.

    Here's the response by the Portage County Educational Service Center to the state's charges:
    The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has accused Portage County Educational Service Center (PCESC) of violating the law by taking steps to re-open LEAD Academy d/b/a Hope4Change Academy on September 2, 2014.

    PCESC has been open and clear with ODE that LEAD Academy was being allowed to re-organize and resume operation as Hope4Change Community School under the sponsor’s authority to lift school suspensions.  Section 3314.072 of the Revised Code allows a sponsor to remove a community school’s suspension, and the school may resume operation, after the school has been re-structured to address the problems that initially caused the suspension to be imposed.

    By way of background, PCESC—which presently sponsors eight other schools with ODE’s approval—commenced its sponsorship of LEAD Academy on September 15, 2011.  PCESC suspended the operation of LEAD Academy on October 10, 2011 due to low enrollment.  Shortly afterwards, the Ohio Auditor of State commenced an audit of LEAD Academy.  Once the audit was completed in May 2014, LEAD Academy proposed to have its suspension lifted by PCESC and resume operation as Hope4Change Academy beginning September 2, 2014.

    PCESC reviewed LEAD Academy’s detailed proposal for lifting the suspension and resuming operation, determined the proposal remedied the conditions that caused the suspension and demonstrated the school would provide a safe facility and quality academic program.  Contrary to ODE’s assertion, the management company hired by LEAD Academy is run by executives with numerous years of experience running K-12 charter schools in Ohio.

    In conclusion, ODE’s August 25th letter and subsequent press release misstate the facts, circumstances and relevant statutory law involved in PCESC’s sponsorship of LEAD Academy. ODE was aware in 2013 that LEAD Academy was not a defunct school and was anticipated to re-open at some point in the near future.  PCESC’s actions were lawful and taken in good faith under R.C. 3314.072.  PCESC is cooperating with ODE’s demand to halt the opening of Hope4Change School.  There is no justification for ODE to impugn the conduct or motives of PCESC’s staff and administration. 
    Add Your Comment
    Name:

    Location:

    E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


    Comments:




     
    Page Options

    Print this page

    E-Mail this page / Send mp3

    Share on Facebook




    Stories with Recent Comments

    Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
    I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

    HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
    Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

    Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
    In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

    Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
    He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

    Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
    Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

    Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
    Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

    New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
    Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

    Cleveland Indians to continue with 'dynamic pricing'
    pricing is too high for a family as well as people like me who are on a fixed income. Bleacher seats are cheaper but concessions are rediculous.

    Kasich talks about faith, drugs and education -- but never FitzGerald
    The idea that you can learn more by talking to a 90 year old person than from a history book is just another example of how the GOP hates education and knowledg...

    Third-grade charter school students fail state testing
    A partisan anti-charter group came out with analysis that ODE says is based on incorrect data. So why is this a story? It doesn't seem to rise to WKSU's typic...

    Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

     
    In Partnership With:

    NPR PRI Kent State University

    listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University