Ohio Lawmakers Poised to Vote on Charter Schools Overhaul

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – After years of emotional public debate, Ohio is moving to overhaul its embattled charter-school system with new performance, accountability and reporting requirements.

House and Senate votes are expected Wednesday on sweeping legislation touted as signaling Ohio’s commitment to operating quality charter schools that provide a viable alternative when traditional public schools fail students.

The bill would make it easier for high performing charters to expand while specifically labeling the worst charter schools “poor” and forbid “sponsor-hopping” by under-performing charter operators, among other changes.

It also requires more frequent, thorough and accessible public reporting on charter schools’ performance and requires charter governing boards to be trained in public-records and open-meetings laws.

The measure also clarifies that equipment operators purchase with taxpayer money belongs to the charter schools, not to the operators.