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Guide to Charter Schools in Cleveland, Ohio

May 1, 2022 | General

The world of education is ever-changing, and that has never been more true than these past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students went from in-person learning to online learning and back again. These changes led parents to reconsider their child’s education.

As parents and caregivers, you want the best education for your child. A local charter school might be a great option for your family. This article is about what charter schools are, as well as what is a great local option for you. 

What is a Tuition-Free Public Charter School in Cleveland, Ohio?

A tuition-free, public charter school is similar to a traditional public school as it also offers education to kids in pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Community members such as guardians, parents, and teachers can petition for a new charter school to be opened.

Often, it is the governing board of the local school district that evaluates and approves petitions for the opening of a new charter school. According to the Education Code (EC) of Ohio the county boards of education and the State Board of Education can be the authorizing organizations for charter school petitions.

Another similarity shared by charter schools with district public schools is the source of funding. Both schools, after all, are funded by the state. However, these two school types differ in their administration and management since charter schools have more control over these aspects. Charter schools enjoy more flexibility in how they run their schools such as in areas of hiring and curriculum management.

Elected school boards, and school districts and their board-appointed superintendents oversee traditional public schools whereas charter schools are managed by an entity under the supervision of their self-appointed board. This means charter schools have more independence than traditional (or district) public schools, allowing them to make their own rules and experiment.

What tuition free public charter schools are available in Cleveland, Ohio?

We recommend Green Inspiration Academy in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, serving the Greater Cleveland Area.  We have a rich heritage of strong academics. Green Inspiration Academy is one of Ohio’s oldest and longest running K-8 tuition-free public charters schools, and we are a top performer

Mental wellness is the priority at Green Inspiration Academy. We bring in members of the mental health advocacy community to nurture a strong student-teacher-parent relationship. Whatever it takes to bring out the best in every child, every day.. Our staff is caring, approachable, and ready to support our students with whatever it takes to foster a healthy, inspired learning environment. Every member of the GIA team provides wrap-around services to our students – from emotional support to snacks, our team is responsive to and respectful of the full lives of our families and their needs.

Are There Other Tuition-Free and Public Charter Schools Available in Cleveland, Ohio?

You can choose to apply and enroll your children in a tuition-free, public charter school even if it is outside your school district. Cleveland charter schools do not have to comply with boundary school rules. Thus, parents in Cleveland can opt for the charter school of their choice and not worry about breaking district rules. Ohio laws state that charter schools admit any child residing in the state if their capacity allows it. 

What is the Process of Enrolling my Child in a Tuition-Free Public Charter School in Cleveland, Ohio? 

The enrollment process of charter schools is highly similar to other school types. They require an application where parents have to provide information about the child such as name, address, birth date, ethnic background, and the last school attended.

It is your responsibility to check the charter schools’ application and enrollment deadlines along with the school’s specific enrollment rules, policies, and requirements. Charter schools may have different rules and processes but all of their admission rules must comply with state laws. According to Ohio laws, charter schools cannot implement policies that unlawfully discriminate against their applicants. 

You should also remember that there is a high possibility of seeing your child’s name on the school’s waitlist especially if you applied to a sought-after charter school. Many charter schools receive more applications than their capacities allow. Schools that have more applicants than they can take in usually employ a random selection process. The lottery system is a commonly used selection technique by many charter schools.

Do Public Charter Schools Offer High-Quality Education in Cleveland, Ohio?

Ohio has two types of charter schools: conversion schools and start-up schools. Conversion schools, which can be established in any district in Ohio, convert a school or program in a public school building into a charter school. Start-up charters only can be authorized in districts identified as “challenged” by the ODE. Start-up charter schools enter into a contract with a school sponsor or authorizer.

  • Typical charter school students in Ohio made similar progress in reading compared to their traditional public school peers in the four school years ending in 2016-17. 
  • Greater academic progress was seen for Black students in charter schools, including Black students in poverty, for reading.
  • Margaret Raymond, director of CREDO at Stanford University, said, “The performance in Ohio charter schools has been consistent since our initial investigation in 2009.”

About Green Inspiration Academy (GIA)Green Inspiration Academy is a free public charter school for grades K–8 located in Warrensville Heights, serving the Greater Cleveland area. Our school uplifts the educational experience with a focus on mental and emotional health, unmatched education, and strong parent-teacher-student relationships, every single day. Onward. Upward. Inspired! Join us at Green Inspiration Academy!