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ODE to Send Back One-Third of Charter School Grant

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The Ohio Department of Education will only use $49 million of a $71 million grant it received for charter schools.

The state is sending back almost a third of a $71 million federal grant for charter school expansion.

In a letter to the federal Charter Schools Program, the Ohio Department of Education says it’ll use only $49 million of the $71 million grant.

ODE Senior Executive Director Steve Gratz says there’s simply a limited number of eligible charter school sponsors. There are at least 60 charter school sponsors in Ohio, but only five have been rated as “effective” – the second best rating. No sponsor got the top rating of “exemplary”.

This grant was delayed after the state admitted it had 9 times more failing charter schools than it claimed in its application, and 34 fewer high-performing charters than it claimed. ODE had to correct its application after its charter schools head admitted to manipulating some data on charters and resigned.