Today, State Representatives Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) and Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) filed legislation to strengthen the accountability over charter school operators. This is a re-filed version of the legislation first filed during the 133rd General Assembly as House Bill 549.
As proposed, the bill would subject charter school records to far more public scrutiny that currently exists under Ohio law and would start to place charter schools on similar footing as Ohio’s public school with respect to public accountability. The bill would also eventually phase out “for profit” charter school operators.
“This bill helps ensure charter schools in our state are devoted solely to the education of our children, and eliminates any profit motive from the current operating model in Ohio,” said Rep. Crossman (D- Parma). “The proposed legislation would also allow for more public scrutiny of these private operators that receive state tax dollars.”
“The challenge that we have had with charter schools is that they are not playing by the same rules,” Rep. Manning (R–North Ridgeville) 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,
- And obligating funds to future payments and requiring 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.