. . . The bill exempts dropout recovery charter schools -- such as the Life Skills centers run by Akron businessman David Brennan -- from the closure sanction.
Ohio Rep. Tom Raga, R-Mason, the bill's sponsor, said these schools were not included because ``their mission is different'' from that of other charter schools. He noted that Brennan's White Hat Management operates nondropout recovery charter schools that would still be subject to the closure penalty.
``That's an acknowledgement to their mission and is not targeted to any one operator,'' Raga said.
Others call the exclusion unfair, arguing that all of the state's charter schools should be held to the same standards.
``This is another example of them setting up a completely separate system for David Brennan's schools and everyone else's schools,'' said Lisa Zellner, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Federation of Teachers, a critic of charter schools.
Zellner was also critical of the voucher expansion, saying it was done ``at the last minute, in the dead of night, with no public discussion.''
She said the voucher program has so far garnered little interest from eligible students.
``Why are they broadening it now?'' she asked. ``The market has shown no interest.'' . . .
So while poor public schools are being turned into White Hat charters if they don't make the impossible AYP targets, the charters are given a free ride because "their mission is different"?