OCCS History

Our History

Ohio’s charter school movement began in 1997 with the passing of House Bill 215. HB 215 allowed for the creation of charter schools in Lucas County as part of the state’s initial pilot project; the University of Toledo was one of the original two charter school sponsors selected for the pilot.

The Ohio Council of Community Schools traces its history back to 1998 when the University of Toledo Charter School Council (UTCSC) was created to sponsor charter schools. While Ohio’s first charter school opened in 1998, UTCSC opened its first school in the fall of 1999.

In 2003, the UT Board of Trustees discontinued the UTCSC and named OCCS as its independent designee regarding charter school sponsorship obligations and responsibilities. This continued relationship has allowed OCCS to build a proven capacity and expertise in best practices for charter school sponsorship.

Though independent from The University of Toledo, OCCS still answers to the UT Board of Trustees and is proud of this unique relationship with the university and the opportunities it affords. This history makes it one of the longest standing charter school sponsors in Ohio as well as one of the largest in terms of both schools and student enrollment. Learn more about OCCS here.

To learn more about Ohio’s charter school history, view the timeline provided by the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools in its charter school law guidebook here.