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State report cards for public schools

The state of Ohio issues a report card for every public school in the state. These report cards evaluate the achievement and progress of the students. You can find report cards for all public schools and districts, including charter schools and career technical education centers, at the Ohio Department of Education website.

The Ohio Department of Education is moving to a new method of rating public schools. The state is using an A-F rating system to grade particular areas of each school’s academic performance. In 2015, schools will also begin receiving an overall A-F rating.

On each school and district’s report card, the following factors are graded:
  • Student achievement
  • Student progress
  • Gap Closing
  • Graduation rate
  • K-3 literacy (coming soon)
  • Prepared for success (coming soon)


You’ll find in depth information about these factors and what they mean on the Ohio Department of Education’s website and on the School Choice Ohio website.

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Public schools within your district

In Ohio, students are assigned to a public school in their district. There are a number of ways to attend a different school instead, either by applying for an intra-district transfer or applying to a magnet school.

Intra-district transfer
If you want your child to attend a school in your district other than your assigned school, you can use intra-district open enrollment to request a transfer. Most districts have intra-district open-enrollment policies that allow families to select a different school as long as space permits. Call your school district to find out what is required, because each district has different rules and procedures. Spring is typically the best time to contact the district about the upcoming school year.

Magnet or lottery school
To attend a magnet school, check with your school district, because procedures vary district to district. Magnet schools often have selective admission, and applicants may be required to audition, or to meet other admission requirements. Many magnet schools use a random lottery process. Check with your district or with individual schools to find out about admission requirements and application deadlines. Most schools’ application deadlines are in the fall or winter for the following school year.

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Public schools outside your assigned district

Ohio has several options for enrolling in a school outside of your assigned district including open enrollment and out-of-boundary tuition.

Open enrollment
Most school districts in the state have an inter-district open enrollment policy, which means that a child is free to attend a school in a different district, as long as there are available seats. There are two different types of inter-district open enrollment. Some districts only permit students in surrounding (“adjacent”) districts to attend their schools. In other districts, schools are open to students from anywhere in the state, as long as space permits. To find out more about open enrollment and each district’s policies, visit the Ohio Department of Education website.

Out-of-boundary tuition
If open enrollment is not available in the district where you want your child to attend school, ask your preferred school about out-of-district tuition. Find out more and see a list of tuition rates at the Ohio Department of Education website.

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Public charter schools

Enrolling your child at a public charter school is simple: all you have to do is sign your child up. Public charter schools cannot turn away students, unless more students apply than there are seats available. In that case, there is a lottery. For more details, call or visit the charter school or schools you are interested in. You can find more information about Ohio charter schools on School Choice Ohio's website and the Ohio Department of Education's website.

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Career-Tech Schools

Career-Tech schools are a great option for students who prefer a hands-on approach to learning. Some schools have GPA requirements for admission. Visit the Tech Prep Ohio website to see what programs are available in your district and learn more about career-tech schools at School Choice Ohio’s website. Contact individual schools directly for admission details and deadlines.

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State Scholarships

Ohio has five state-funded scholarship programs that allow eligible families to send their children to a participating private school (or public school, in some cases) of their choice. All scholarship programs are administered by the Ohio Department of Education.

Cleveland Scholarship & Tutoring Program
This program provides scholarships to students who live in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to be used toward tuition at any participating school within district boundaries. Visit the School Choice Ohio website or the Ohio Department of Education website for more details.

EdChoice Scholarship Program (Designated Schools)
This program provides scholarships to students who attend the state’s lowest-rated public schools. Scholarships can be used toward tuition at participating private schools. Visit the School Choice Ohio website or the Ohio Department of Education website for more details.

Income-Based Scholarship Program (EdChoice Expansion)
This program provides scholarships to students from qualifying families across the state. Scholarships are to be used toward tuition at participating private schools. For the 2014-15 school year, incoming kindergarten and incoming first grade students will be eligible to apply. Visit the School Choice Ohio website or the Ohio Department of Education website for more details.

Autism Scholarship Program
This program provides scholarships to students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with an Autism diagnosis. Scholarships can be used at participating schools and/or private service providers. Visit the School Choice Ohio website or the Ohio Department of Education website for more details.

Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program
This program provides scholarships to students with special needs who have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Scholarships can be used at participating schools and/or private service providers. Visit the School Choice Ohio website or the Ohio Department of Education website for more details.

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Our Partners

American Federation for ChildrenSchool Choice OhioOhio Department of EducationOhio Alliance for Public Charter Schools