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.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Akron General

Hospice of the Western Reserve


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

    The postal workers union is challenging mail-sorting closures in Ohio
    Do not close the akron facilaty for mail processing. This will severly deminish mail service to the northeast ohio area, Cleveland can not handle this burden.

    Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
    In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

    Clarence Bozeman: In the driver's seat of history
    I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

    Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
    I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

    Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
    Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

    Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
    I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

    Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
    The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

    Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
    Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

    Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
    The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

    State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
    Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

    Copyright © 2015 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