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Ohio education groups back bills that cap charter schools



Published: Sat, April 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



COLUMBUS -- The Coalition for Public Education has announced its support of bills that call for maintaining the current cap on the number of charter schools in Ohio.

The bills, filed Thursday by state Sen. Kirk Schuring and state Rep. Scott Oelslager, both R-Canton, also would create a commission to examine the high pupil failure rate of most privately operated charter schools.

The bills had bipartisan support, including co-sponsorship by Rep. Ken Carano of Austintown, D-59th, and Sens. Marc Dann of Liberty Township, D-32nd, and Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-33rd.

The coalition recently launched a statewide campaign to maintain the cap on charter schools. The coalition said its goal is to raise awareness of the poor return the state is getting on its $425 million investment to pay for charter schools.

The state budget recently approved by the House would allow for 60 to 70 additional charter schools over the next two years, according to the coalition. "The last thing Ohio needs -- until they significantly improve results for children -- is to pay for more charter schools," coalition chairman Tom Mooney said.

Ohio Department of Education data show that traditional public school pupils vastly outperform pupils in privately operated charter schools, according to the coalition.

The coalition is an alliance of community groups such as the Ohio PTA and League of Women Voters of Ohio, school board members and educators.




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