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Cleveland Charter School Sues its Sponsor

OAK Leadership Institute

As Ohio's fiscal year comes to an end this week, 20 Ohio charters are set to close. StateImpact Ohio’s Michelle Faust looks at one Cleveland charter that’s suing its sponsor for refusing to renew its contract.

Representatives from OAK Leadership Institutewent to the state after its sponsor, Richland Academy of the Arts, refused to renew its contract because of low student test scores.

Ten other Ohio charter schools made similar requests this year, but the state Department of Education rejected all of them. Earlier this month, Oak Leadership administrators unsuccessfully asked the state board of education to intervene.

It looked like the school was out of options, but Angela Bennett, Oak’s superintendent, disagrees.

"We are still fighting it. Each time I see my kids and I talk to my parents, we have no choice but to fight it."

The school — based in a low-income Cleveland neighborhood — has asked for an injunction to allow it to continue summer programs and is preparing for a hearing next week.