Will The Sun Ever Shine On Charter School Spending?

Ohio House Bill 2 has now been relegated to “lip-service” status on charter school reform after the GOP-dominated House Education Committee refused to adopt any meaningful changes (including recommendations by Republican State Auditor Dave Yost). When it was introduced, it was allegedly a bill that would be demonstrating that Ohio Republicans, including Governor Kasich, were serious about turning the corner on Ohio’s charter schools and becoming serious about holding them to the same level of accountability as Ohio’s real public schools.

Instead, House Bill 2 has fallen flat. As reported by the Ohio Education Association this week [emphasis-added]:

In the most recent action on HB 2, the House Education Committee adopted 20 amendments to the bill at its Tuesday, March 17 hearing. Most of the amendments consist of the Governor’s charter school recommendations proposed in the state budget bill (HB 64), which are heavily focused on charter school sponsor accountability.

Notably absent from the additions made to the bill were most of the reform recommendations submitted to the committee by State Auditor Dave Yost (R). The Auditor’s proposals were based on his recent on-site audits of numerous charter schools, which raised a variety of concerns about the lack of accountability and transparency.

Fellow Republicans on the House Education Committee rejected the State Auditor’s recommendations for more transparency on how tax dollars are spent by charter schools, tighter student truancy laws for charters, more accountable charter school governance and measures to prevent charter operators from using these schools as a “back-door means to acquire real estate.” The committee also rejected numerous amendments proposed by Democrats, some of which were attempts to include the Auditor’s proposals in the bill.

(Read more at Plunderbund).