Gov. John Kasich wants to add teeth to charter school oversight rules and let charters seek local tax levies

Gov. John Kasich's budget proposal Monday would offer charter schools in Ohio two new potential funding sources -- a $25 million facilities fund and the ability to seek local tax levies from voters -- while putting a greater focus on charter school sponsors, or authorizers, as a way to improve school quality.
-- Charter schools sponsored by an "exemplary" sponsor can seek a property tax levy from voters to pay for operations.

This change is similar to a major piece in the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools, the 2012 state law that allows the district here to share a property tax with charter schools that it sponsors or otherwise signs a partnership agreement with.

Since voters in Cleveland passed a 15-mill levy that fall, the district has split one mill of that levy -- a little over $8 million total -- with 14 charter schools in the city.

Voters in Columbus rejected a similar proposal in 2013.

As in Cleveland, charters cannot put a levy on the ballot by themselves. Charters will have to go to the local school board and make a case for the district to put the tax on the ballot.

Charter schools could ask for a tax as a single school, or as a group of schools.

"The proposal would give the community the choice to partner with charter schools and help those schools that are positively contributing to the public education of the students in their communities," Ross said. "Voters should have the opportunity to provide local funds to support the education of students who attend charter schools."

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