20 Charters Close This Year, 1 Fights to Stay Open

Students at OAK Leadership Institute receive individual reading tutoring. [photo: Michelle Faust/ ideastream]
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by Michelle Faust

As the school fiscal year comes to an end this week 20 Ohio charters are set to close. One Cleveland charter is suing its sponsor for refusing to renew its contract and jeopardizing its ability to stay open.

Representatives from OAK Leadership Institute went to the state after their sponsor Richland Academy of the Arts refused to renew their 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 do not believe we’re out of options. 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," says Bennett.

The school—based in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood—has asked for an injunction to allow them to continue summer programs and is preparing for a hearing next week.


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