Charter schools have increased in popularity ever since their start in the late 90’s. Created as an additional outlet for innovation and success, these community schools gave children and parents another way to look at education. With this added option, a choice was given to Ohioans to invest in their children’s future. Recently, some concerns have arisen regarding the transparency and accountability of these schools, and the Ohio House took steps to address those concerns through House Bill 2.

Ohio’s school system is always under review, finding new strategies to increase success for our students. Making sure every public school and charter school is held to the same standard is essential, which is why we value transparency when it comes to academic performance and financial decisions. To ensure this accountability, we introduced and passed House Bill 2 to address issues that would reform Ohio’s charter schools.

Financial expenditures were explored in this effort to reform schools and more transparency measures were needed. In order to make sure that students are getting a proper school experience, policies were put in place to ensure more transparency in the way management companies and sponsors report their expenditures. Management companies must also provide expense reports and sponsors must report what they used to provide oversight and intervention with schools that aren’t meeting standards.

This legislation focused not only on the schools, but also the sponsors themselves, to ensure that everyone involved would be held accountable. This bill gives the Department of Education the right to remove sponsors who aren’t meeting standards. Some of these standards include an evaluation model for sponsors, ways to provide intervention in charter schools that are performing poorly, and greater oversight of schools that use blended learning and online instructional models.

Ohio’s mindset on charter school education is starting to change as we pass legislation to reform them, but we are still looking for ways that these schools can excel and shine. My hope is that this bill will help resolve past issues so that these schools may become an example of how charter schools should function.

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