Feds release, but restrict, Ohio’s $71M charter school grant

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education is releasing a disputed $71 million grant to Ohio to aid high-performing charter schools — but with strings attached.

The federal agency on Wednesday said it is imposing a series of restrictions on release of the money to prevent fraud inside Ohio’s troubled charter school system. The grant has been designated high-risk.

The state will be required to hire an independent monitor and create a database of charter schools’ academic, operational and financial performance. The department also must comply with new reporting requirements. Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown led calls for the special conditions in June.

Federal regulators postponed disbursement of the money last year amid concerns over the state Education Department’s alleged rigging of charter school evaluations and omissions from its grant application.

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