The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation is the first nonprofit organization to be approved by the Ohio Department of Education to authorize charter schools in the Buckeye State.
The Washington-based foundation, which conducts education research and supports charter schools, hopes to sponsor up to 10 existing charter schools in Dayton, starting in July of next year. In Ohio, sponsors authorize and oversee charter schools and have the power to revoke charters.
The state education department announced the approval Sept. 13. Two other nonprofit organizations are awaiting final approval by the department.
Until a 2003 state law withdrew sponsoring authority from the state board of education, the board had sponsored the Dayton charter school. The same law gave the education department the power to certify charter school sponsors, which under the law include education-oriented nonprofit groups.
Only Ohio and Minnesota allow nonprofit organizations to authorize charter schools.