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State School Board Members Say Ohio Education Officials Dragging Feet To Review Charter Schools

Arise Academy in Dayton is now closed, and former leaders of the school have been convicted of federal crimes.
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At least two of the state’s school board members feel stifled in their efforts to investigate Ohio’s charter schools.


A.J. Wagner, who is an elected member for the Dayton area, says the more the Ohio Department of Education drags its feet reviewing the recent data-scrubbing scandal, the more skeptical he becomes.


“If they cheated on one thing, what else might they have cheated on? What are they hiding” Wagner said.


The board tabled a measure proposed by Wagner during its meeting this week. It would have allowed for an external investigator. Other members said they’d rather have the attorney general or inspector general complete an investigation first.


But, board member Stephanie Dodd says that likely won’t be a timely review.


“We just learned that a 17-month wait time from the inspector general is considered normal,” she said.


Dodd says that timetable proves the need to go to an outside firm to investigate the state’s school choice department. Wagner says he will push for reconsideration of his measure at the next board meeting in October, but the recent resignation of fellow school board member Mark Smith might affect its chances to pass.