COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on scrutiny of Ohio’s charter school system (all times local):
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is calling on federal regulators to examine how Ohio charter schools that received money through a charter-school grant program size up against their counterparts in other states.
In a letter Monday to Education Secretary John King, the Ohio Democrat said despite some positive steps he remains concerned Ohio charter schools lack adequate oversight. Brown wants the U.S. Department of Education to see whether Ohio grant recipients are failing or closing at higher rates than in other states and whether their academic performance stacks up.
Federal regulators postponed disbursement last year of a $71 million grant to Ohio following concerns over the state Education Department’s alleged rigging of charter school evaluations.
Brown said once the money is released, a monitor should be appointed to oversee it.
Ohio’s new charter school reform laws seem to be blocking poor-performing schools from finding new backers to keep them open.
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports (http://bit.ly/1UDakqT) the state Department of Education says 11 charter schools this year lost their sponsors’ support. That puts them in danger of closing if they can’t find a new backer.
The schools have been searching since January, but haven’t found new organizations to authorize and oversee them. The six schools that asked for state backing were all rejected.
The schools are in a dire position after the new law that blocks schools dropped by a sponsor due to poor performance from signing on with another. This is also the first year the state can reject applications from schools with bad academic records.