Bipartisan bill first serious effort at charter school accountability

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Note: Tell your senator to support charter accountability SB 148

Ohio Federation of Teachers Statement by OFT President Melissa Cropper

"Today's announcement of a bipartisan bill to truly reform Ohio's charter school system is this state's first serious attempt to hold accountable those who operate the privately run, publicly funded charter chains.

"This is an opportunity to elevate Ohio from the intolerable reputation of being the out-of-control, free-for-all wild, wild west of charter schools. It is an effort to make sure that every educational choice for our children is a quality choice and that every taxpayer dollar is used wisely.

"We are particularly pleased that this charter school accountability bill was designed in a bipartisan manner with both Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate leaders working together to do what is right for Ohio children. Reps. Roegner and Patterson with Sens. Lehner and Sawyer are to be commended for putting the best interests of children ahead of politics. This bill will be introduced in the Senate with companion legislation in the House.

"OFT supports language requiring surety bonds that will protect the public investment in the unfortunate but real event a charter closes and leaves taxpayers stuck with its debt; language requiring management companies that receive more than 20 percent of a charter's gross revenue to provide detailed accounting of how those dollars are spent; and more accountability measures for Internet charters.  "