Open season on charter schools

At last, it’s open season on Ohio’s worst charter schools. Even Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a strong supporter of charters, promised in December to get tough on the poor performers — and he’s not alone.

The charter-school reform proposal that Kasich presented as part of his state budget is a good start despite a few blind spots.

It ought to be more comprehensive, but it does make it harder for poorly performing charters to stay in business by focusing on sponsors and banning those that are rated poor by the Ohio Department of Education. Charter schools can’t operate without a sponsor.

The proposal to give the best charter schools — however that is defined — access to a new $25 million facilities fund sounds like a worthy idea as long as high-performing public schools have access to similar funds.


However, giving top charters the ability to ask voters for tax-levy money seems a step too far, especially since many charters in Ohio have for-profit operators with limited transparency and deficient oversight. Such a proposal also further jeopardizes the funding of public schools.

Kasich’s measure should also make it harder for unscrupulous operators to fudge attendance and their finances. House Bill 2, a recently proposed charter school reform bill, also falls short by not demanding that charter school finances be open to the public.

(See more at: