I write in response to a news story (Dec. 15: Lima’s Leo Academy to close Friday) and letter to the editor (Dec. 21: Leo Academy speaks volumes about charter schools) regarding the recent closure of the Leo Academy. Both include a very significant error in referring to Leo Academy as a “private charter school.” Leo Academy is private, but it is not a charter school!
The news story and the letter both reference EdChoice Scholarships, but the reporter and letter writer clearly do not understand that EdChoice Scholarships are exclusively for use in private schools. Ohio has two types of private schools, neither of which are charter schools.
A quick search on the Ohio Department of Education’s website reveals that there is no state report card for Leo Academy, a clear indication that it is not a public school.
Letter writer Catherine Heitz is incorrect in her statements regarding charter schools. Charter schools are public schools that are subject to state audits, required to administer the same state assessments as traditional (district) public schools and subject to public records laws. They are, in fact, held to the highest level of standard for academic outcomes: those that fail to perform are subject to Ohio’s automatic closure laws, which are among the toughest in the nation.
Hale is chairman of Buckeye Charter School Boards, Inc.