There has got to be a better way to fund K-12th-grade charter schools than Ohio Gov. John Kasich's latest budget proposal that would further rob traditional public schools of millions of dollars in order to subsidize poorly regulated charter schools. The governor's plan would continue the cannibalization of Ohio's public schools.
That's especially so since the Ohio General Assembly itself has been all too willing over the years to pick the pockets of public schools to pad the pockets of the private interests behind for-profit charters and the lobbyists who represent them -- and far too unwilling to tighten Ohio's shamefully lax regulatory framework for charters.
This year, it appears charter reform supported by Kasich finally will emerge in the General Assembly. Increasing charters' taxpayer subsidy should await the results of that reform effort; pumping nearly $1 billion into their coffers, as the governor's plan envisions, is not the answer.
The Ohio General Assembly should also change a state law that puts traditional public school systems such as Akron on the hook for millions of dollars to provide special bus transportation to private and charter school students even beyond what they can afford to offer regular public students.
But let's go back to House Bill 64, the governor's two-year budget proposal. According to the Legislative Service Commission, a nonpartisan research group for state legislators, Kasich's budget would give charter schools nearly $1 billion in 2016 and 2017 by increasing the amount of state funding charters will receive for operating, base pay per student and facilities.
(Read more at Cleveland.com)