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Kasich Still Mulling Over Reform For Charter Schools

Gov. John Kasich still intends to work on charter school reforms for the state's worst charters.
Mark Urycki (StateImpact Ohio)
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Just two days after delivering his biennium budget proposal, Gov. John Kasich visited a charter school in Cleveland. The Woodland Hills Village School is a successful elementary charter that is sponsored by the city’s public school. Kasich says he likes that model, but indicated he is still working on a plan to crack down on bad charter schools.

Kasich is focused on eliminating bad charter schools by banning their sponsors. And the governor has been talking to state school superintendent Dick Ross about creating a process to do that, while ensuring it could not be misused by future superintendents opposed to the schools.

“You can get someone in that position who’s just against choice.  And I don’t want that to be the case so I mentioned to Dick this morning that we have to figure out a mechanism where these schools are judged fairly," Kasich said. "We don’t want to have this done on a philosophical basis.  Some people don’t want any choice. Okay, I get that, but I’m not going to eliminate choice in this state because I think choice is healthy for our kids."

Kasich likes the Cleveland schools’ model where the public schools work with the private sector to sponsor a group of charters schools. And he says he’s hoping struggling Youngstown schools will come up with a similar model. A state academic distress commission has been working with school officials in Youngstown, but Kasich says he had no intention of a state takeover in Youngstown.