CMSD and Charter School PartnershipThe Cleveland Plan, signed into law in 2012, created partnership, a unique and exciting way for charter schools to work with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. As defined in Ohio law (R.C. 3311.86), a partnering charter school is a charter school located in Cleveland that is either sponsored by CMSD or signs an agreement with CMSD whereby the district and charter school agree to endorse each other’s programs.Charter schools that partner with the district share in the proceeds of the local education levy (Issue 108) renewed by voters in 2016. The CMSD is the only district in Ohio—and one of the few in the country—that shares local tax dollars with charter schools.In exchange, partner schools agree to allow the CMSD to include their enrollment data noted separately on the District’s report card and to have their academic performance data combined with comparable data from CMSD schools for the district’s state report card. Partner schools are part of the Cleveland Education Compact, where district and charter schools network, share best practices, and collaborate.In December 2018 the Cleveland Transformation Alliance recommended new partnership criteria to the district, which CMSD’s board approved.The basic eligibility criteria for community schools not sponsored by CMSD are:
- The school is located within CMSD boundaries;
- The school has been in operation for at least three complete school years;
- At least 80 percent of the students enrolled in the school are CMSD residents;
- The school meets the following academic requirements:
- Its average Performance Index score over the most recent three-year period places it in the top third of all district and community schools located within CMSD boundaries (K-8 schools);
- Its four-year graduation rate over the most recent three-year period equals or exceeds the national average (high schools);
- The school’s combined graduation rate over the most recent three-year period must equal or exceed the state average (dropout recovery and prevention schools).
CMSD will communicate with partners annually regarding their standing against the new criteria. Existing partners that do not meet the new criteria will not be able to sign new agreements when their current agreements expire in June 2022.
In addition, CMSD intends to accept applications from eligible prospective partners in fall 2019. Schools must meet the criteria above to be eligible to apply.CMSD currently has 17 partner schools including nine schools sponsored by the District.