It is no secret that charter owners are major campaign contributors to Governor John Kasich and the Republican legislature. After newspaper revelations, the legislature recognized the public demand for charter accountability. At hearings, 18 people testified. 17 are charter advocates.

Here is an account from Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy:

House Bill 2 (HB 2)-a nominal start toward charter school reform

Ohio is known nationwide for its Wild, Wild West charter school policies. After nearly fifteen years of a failed experiment in the charter school industry, at long last, a bill (HB 2) has been introduced to curb some of the abuses. HB 2 needs to be greatly expanded to deal with a multitude of disquieting problems.

So far in the HB 2 hearings before the House Education Committee, it is obvious that the charter school advocates are driving the testimony train. At the first hearing of HB 2, the head of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, instead of the Legislative Service Commission or some other neutral party, provided legislators with background information on charter policy. During the most recent hearing, 18 individuals testified, orally or by written testimony. 17 of the 18 represented pro-charter organizations.

Testimony from public school advocates is sorely needed.

William Phillis
Ohio E & A

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