Making Democracy Work

LWVCA sends letter-to-editor on Charter School Reform

Letter-to-the-Editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer

To the Editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer (August 27, 2015):

Thank you for your excellent August 23 editorial, Charting a Course Toward Reform. We can only hope that our Ohio Legislature will respond to your commentary and to that of ProgressOhio's Sandy Theis, whose essay was also printed in that Sunday "Forum" section.

We deplore the fact that, to date, elected officials have not shown much enthusiasm for correcting a failed system.

Last spring, the League of Women Voters and eight co-sponsors held a forum detailing the mismanagement of charter schools and the lack of legislative oversight. Not only have billions of taxpayer dollars been squandered, but thousands of Ohio students have been misled into thinking these schools were better than their local public schools. Data has continuously shown that most of these schools cannot match the educational proficiency of their local districts.

We had hoped that legislation under consideration would lead to improvement. However, both HB2 and SB148 faded away with no action in our Statehouse.

What will it require to get our Legislature to take responsibility for how our education dollars are being used by charter sponsors? Constituents must contact their legislators and insist that this issue become a priority in the next session of the Legislature. Laws governing charter schools must be tightened and stricter oversight must be instituted. Only then will students receive the education they were promised and taxpayers will understand better how the state's education dollars are being used for its 400 charter schools.

Sincerely,

Nancy Dawley
President
League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area