It wasn't academic underachievement that pushed Groveport Madison schools out of the charter-school business.
It was a demand for more reporting -- and more paperwork -- from the state that Superintendent Bruce Hoover said made it impossible to meet compliance deadlines.
Eight months after the state rated it as a "poor" charter sponsor, the Groveport Madison Board of Education voted unanimously June 14 to formally approve a settlement with the Ohio Department of Education.
The ODE gave the district an A grade for Cruiser Academy students' performance but dinged it for being out of compliance with rules and laws and a lack of best practices in such areas as planning, contract development and school oversight.
Under the agreement, Cruiser Academy, a charter school the district sponsored for students at risk of dropping out or not graduating, will become a regular school under the district's control after June 30.
It will continue as a dropout-prevention school, and because it doesn't share a building with another district school, it will not be factored into the district's state report card.
The Groveport Madison board also had to approve a formal agreement with the Cruiser Academy board to make the change official. That document said in part that Ohio laws and regulations have "changed significantly, imposing increasingly burdensome and costly new requirements and constraints" on the schools and their sponsors, and that "changes in law and in ODE's interpretations of law ... threaten the financial stability" of the school.
In October, the Groveport Madison school district was among 21 Ohio sponsors of charter schools that were rated as "poor," the lowest possible rating. Three other area districts -- Pickerington, Reynoldsburg and Hamilton Local -- also received "poor" sponsor ratings.
The state said it would revoke their sponsoring authority but they could appeal. Groveport Madison did so and reached a tentative agreement with the state in January.
In the fall, Hoover said a host of new regulations required charter sponsors to prepare hundreds of reports that added up to thousands of pages. That made it impossible to meet the deadline for compliance, he said.
Cruiser Academy had 186 students at the end of the year. About 18 percent of the academy's students live in other districts, Deputy Superintendent John Hurd said.
Hoover said those students might continue at the school if their superintendents make agreements with Groveport Madison schools.