House passes bill to reform Ohio charter schools

Attention on overhauling Ohio’s oft-criticized charter-school laws now turns to the Senate, where Democrats, state Auditor Dave Yost and charter supporters hope to see additions made to a bill that the House passed on Thursday with broad support.

House Bill 2 includes roughly three dozen changes aimed at transparency, accountability and oversight of charter schools that are spending upward of $1 billion a year in state taxpayer money to educate 100,000-plus students.

“There is no such thing as a perfect bill. But this is a good bill that moves us in the right direction,” said Rep. Mike Dovilla, R-Berea, a prime sponsor.

Dovilla said the bill is the most-comprehensive charter-school legislation in a dozen years. A wave of recent studies and media reports have highlighted issues with charter-school academic performance, attendance counts, lease deals and lack of transparency.

In addition to the House bill, Gov. John Kasich included charter-school provisions in his two-year budget, and Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, has held informal meetings with experts to craft legislation likely to be introduced early next week.

(Read more at Dispatch)