Today, during a regularly-scheduled Ohio State Board of Education (BOE) meeting, former educators at a controversial Ohio charter school questioned why members of the board had provided an insufficient investigation of serious complaints filed against the school. Former teachers from Horizon Science Academy in Dayton reported numerous indiscretions at the school without receiving substantive response by the state board. Accusations included sexual misconduct and grade tampering. After being met with an overwhelming public outcry, the BOE ordered for an immediate investigation.

The same charter school in question is part of a network of 19 Ohio and over 120 US charter schools. These schools are currently under federal investigation and have been accused of illegally funneling in unqualified teachers to the US from Turkey and operating inadequate, low-performing schools.

“This is yet another glaring example of how charter schools lack any accountability or transparency in Ohio,” said Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson). “We must bring accountability to charter schools if we want these schools to be any more than a funnel into the wallets of charter school operators. The expenditure of public money clearly necessitates public oversight."

In April, Reps. Patterson and John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) introduced House Bill 520, legislation to increase the transparency and accountability of Ohio’s charter schools by requiring increased compliance with public records laws and an annual audit of charter school operators and school sponsors. Rep. Patterson is also a joint sponsor of HB 547, legislation to ensure charter school educators are held to the same standards as public school teachers.

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