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Community School Facts & What Community School Opponents Will Tell You

FACT:  Community schools, which may also be called “charter schools,” are public schools created by the Ohio legislature as an alternative to the traditional public schools and provide parents an educational choice. [R.C. 3314.01(B)]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Community Schools are “private” schools.

FACT:  Community schools must accept all students and cannot discriminate on any basis. By state law, if more students apply for admission than the school can accommodate, there must be a lottery to determine which students will be enrolled. [R.C. 3314.06(D)]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Community schools can “pick and choose” only the best students.

FACT:  Community schools must comply with all state and federal laws regarding educating special needs students. [R.C. 3314.06(D)]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Community schools do not have to educate disabled students.

FACT:  All students attending community schools are required to take state-mandated Proficiency Tests. In addition, as the state’s new Achievement Tests are phased in, community school students will be subject to these as well. [R.C. 3314.03(11)(d)]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Students who attend community schools are not required to take the Ohio Achievement Tests.

FACT:  Teachers must comply with the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements of NCLB as well as be state-certified and undergo background checks. [R.C. 3314.03 (10)]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Teachers at community schools are unqualified.

FACT:  Funding for community schools comes entirely from the Ohio Department of Education’s Per Pupil Foundation Fund – no money comes directly from the local school district. State law prohibits community schools from accessing any local tax money (whether real estate tax or income tax) that the local district receives. The state money, about $5,800 per student (compared with the approximately $10,000+ per student most traditional public schools spend) is all community schools receive. The money follows the student – the school that educates the child receives the money. [R.C. 3314.08]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Community schools take money from local public schools, including local tax dollars.

FACT:  Buildings used by community schools must comply with all health, safety and building codes, whereas traditional public schools are exempt from building codes. [R.C. 3314.05]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Buildings used by community schools are unsafe.

FACT:  Community schools must show student academic progress each year and pass comprehensive financial audits by the state auditor yearly.  Community schools may be closed by their sponsors if students are not learning or there is financial malfeasance. [R.C. 3314.03 and 3314.07]
UNTRUE OPPONENT COMMENTS:  Community schools are not accountable.