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Despite a flood of charter school scandals in Ohio, the lobbyists for the big-money charter operators are working hard to torpedo any reform of the charter industry.
Stephen Dyer of Innovation Ohio warns that lobbyists want to block any reforms of a system they created, which enriches their employers.
“It looks like the Ohio House won’t take up the charter reform package that cleared the Ohio Senate last week before the end of business tomorrow. So now, it’s being slow walked, which means at best we wait until mid-July for the bill to pass and at worst, we wait until September, which means that many of the provisions would likely be delayed by a year. I suppose the worst that could happen is nothing changes — a possibility that becomes more and more likely with each delay. We know that the powerful Ohio poor performing charter operator lobby would love for both chambers to bog this bill down so nothing changes.
“Anyway, I was reminded of just how sneaky our state’s big charter school operators (and campaign donors) are when the Beacon Journal wrote a story late last week that showed that E-Schools don’t have their students’ first-year test scores counted (and by extension, neither do most other charters).
“Again, every minute the legislature deliberates on this bill is another minute for these legislative ninjas to work their magic. Hopefully, the bill gets worked out tomorrow and we can have a meaningful piece of legislation passed. But until that happens, I’m nervous that all this work over the last couple years may go for naught.
Education Policy Fellow
35 E. Gay St.
Columbus, OH 43215