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Lawmakers Approve New Charter School Requirements

The Ohio House has approved new performance, accountability and transparency requirements for charter schools. The measure  makes it easier for high performing charters to expand while specifically labeling the worst schools "poor."It also clarifies equipment belongs to the schools, not their operators. . Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

Lawmakers say House Bill 2 will increase accountability and transparency in the system. It stops what’s known as sponsor hopping. This is when a failing charter school tries to find a new sponsor when the original one pulls the plug. It clamps down on scenarios that could create conflicts of interest between a school and its operator. And it implements more oversight in general by the Ohio Department of Education.  
Democrats have been vocal opponents of the current charter school system. Minority Leader Fred Strahorn of Dayton said this bill takes Ohio in the right direction.  
“While it doesn’t go as far as we want it to and we want to take a look at those things as we proceed in the future—but this is a good start to giving us the kind of accountability around public spending,” said Strahorn.  
Critics say they would like the General Assembly to address how charters are funded next.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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