DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - The fate of many of Ohio's charter schools rests in the hands of state lawmakers who will soon begin negotiating a compromise on the two-year state budget.
Gov. Ted Strickland and the Democrats who control the Ohio House want to cut funding for the state's roughly 320 charter schools by more than $200 million. They also want more accountability and oversight, and want to make it easier for the state to close schools that aren't performing well.
The Republicans who control the Ohio Senate, however, released a budget plan last week that restores funding for the schools, which receive taxpayer money but are free of many of the regulations attached to traditional public schools. Lawmakers from both chambers will meet over the next few weeks to work out a compromise to send to Strickland before July 1.
Charter schools are just another sticking point in a disagreement between the parties about whether to fundamentally change the way schools are funded.
The Democratic plan would tie funding for charter schools to their performance.
"My hope is in the Senate they'll continue down that path of finding (incentives for) good charters, rather than perpetuate the bad ones," state Rep. Stephen Dyer, an Akron-area Democrat, said earlier this month.
The Republican plan kept standards for charter schools where they are currently, instead of increasing them. The Senate also wants the state to treat public schools the same way it treats charter schools that aren't performing well - by closing them down if they are deemed to be in academic emergency for three consecutive years.
Dyer said taxpayers have contributed $3.4 billion to charter schools since 1998, but only 8 percent of them are rated "effective" or better on the state report card for school performance. . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Monday, June 01, 2009
Ohio Republicans Rally to Protect Corrupt, Incompetent Charter Schools
Ohio Republicans are vigilant watchdogs of the public coffers until their right-wing benefactors' corrupt business opportunites are threatened by some real oversight by Governor Strickland. The White Hat charters in Ohio have been a scandal for years, yet Republicans in the Ohio Senate continue to stand in the way of bringing some oversight and accountability to David Brennan's gravy train. From the AP: