You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

New program seeks to reach Clark County overdose patients, save lives

State auditor investigates three charter-school sponsors

Warren County ESC to be audited

Warren County Educational Service Center (ESC) officials said they welcomed scrutiny of their charter school operations as part of a special audit acknowledged Thursday by Ohio Auditor of State David Yost in response to the closing of a series of new charter schools last year.

“We welcome any audit. That helps us when we go out to pitch new business,” said John Lazares, superintendent of the Warren Educational Service Center, based in Lebanon.

Along with the Warren County Educational Service Center, the initial special audits will focus on two sponsors of new charter schools that closed quickly, including the St. Aloysius Orphanage in Cincinnati - which sponsored schools that closed in Dayton - and the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, according to Blaine Kelly, spokesman for Yost’s office.

“We chose them because they have first-year charter schools in place right now,” Kelly said. “We’ve seen an unusually high failure rate in first-year charter schools.”

Three other ESCs, not part of the special audit, sponsored new charter schools this year, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

Yost’s office declined to say specifically why it selected the Warren County ESC alongside two sponsors with histories of problems.

It’s the first time that the state has conducted special audits of charter sponsors.

The audit began three weeks ago after The Columbus Dispatch reported that 29 percent of Ohio’s charter schools have closed since 1997, including charters sponsored by the North Central Ohio ESC, based in Marion and Tiffin, and St. Aloysius.

No reports identified problems at charter schools sponsored by the Warren County ESC.

The Warren County ESC is sponsoring two new charter schools: the Ohio Construction Academy, Columbus, operated by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio, and the Akron Digital Academy in Akron, Lazares said.

Neither school has closed or encountered problems so far, Lazares said.

In addition, Lazares said the Warren County ESC has sponsored two successful charter schools. The Warren County Virtual Community School has been sponsored and run from ESC offices for 12 years. Woodbury Academy in Dayton, sponsored for three years by the ESC, is operated by Imagine, a national charter school operator.

“We don’t have any that have opened and closed,” Lazares said.

Lazares said there are about 500 students in their charter schools and about 100 students are graduated each year.

Before a charter school can open, it must secure a sponsor: a nonprofit group, university, school district or educational service center — which enters into the “charter” with the school and acts as the check on decision-making.

Staff Writer Ed Richter contributed to this report.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

7 things to know now: Confederate monuments coming down; O'Reilly on podcast; Obama to speak
7 things to know now: Confederate monuments coming down; O'Reilly on podcast; Obama to speak

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. 1. Monuments removed: Workers in New Orleans began removing Confederate monuments around the city early Monday. Trucks arrived around 1:30 a.m. at the first of four monuments the city is taking down. City officials say some protesting the removal of the statues have made death threats...
New Orleans begins to take down Confederate monuments
New Orleans begins to take down Confederate monuments

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city would begin to take down the first of four Confederate monuments early Monday, Fox News reported, while a group that sued the city to halt the action held a vigil in protest. >> Read more trending news  The Liberty Monument, erected in 1891, is an obelisk that commemorates...
New program seeks to reach Clark County overdose patients, save lives
New program seeks to reach Clark County overdose patients, save lives

A new program set to launch next month will allow overdose patients to receive immediate help from a mental health professional at the emergency room, which local health leaders say could save lives. The warm hand-off program will place a licensed chemical dependency therapist and a peer support recovery specialist at the emergency room at Springfield...
Gas prices continue to slowly increase
Gas prices continue to slowly increase

DAYTON — Average retail gasoline prices in Dayton increased 10.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.39 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 391 gas outlets in Dayton. This compares with the national average that has increased 1 cent per gallon in the last week to $2.42 per gallon, according to gasoline price...
Police: Fascination prompted man to steal rare copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ 
Police: Fascination prompted man to steal rare copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ 

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. —  An Illinois man who stole a 90-year-old copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” from a museum said he was “fascinated by it,” police said. >> Read more trending news Robert Charles LeCompte, 30, of Collinsville, was charged Friday with one count each of burglary and theft, both felonies...
More Stories