COLUMBUS – On Wednesday, March 11, State Representatives Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) and Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) held a press conference to announce the introduction of legislation to strengthen the accountability of community charter school operators. The bill would allow the records of an operator to be subjected to a review by the Ohio Auditor.
“This bill helps ensure charter schools in our state are devoted solely to the education of our children, and fully eliminates any profit motive from the current operating model,” said Rep. Crossman. “Our children and our educators deserve an environment that fully satisfies these educational needs so that our children can grow and our communities can prosper.”
“The challenge that we have had with charter schools is that they are not playing by the same rules,” Rep. Manning said. “They are taking public dollars, and we should be able to know where those public dollars are going.”
Other provisions of the proposal include:
- Prohibiting a for-profit individual or organization from entering into or renewing a contract for operator services on or after the bill's effective date,
- Capping profit operators from realizing a profit greater than 5 percent of the total amount of payments that the school receives from the state,
- Permitting the governing board of an educational service center to serve as the operator of a community school,
- Permitting a community school to require an operator to apply unexpended and unobligated funds to future payments in the same manner that a district or community school can require an educational service center to apply unexpended and obligated funds to future payments and requires return of any remaining funds at the contract's expiration.
After this legislation receives a bill number, it will be referred to a House Committee.