14 September 2007

State Attempts to Close 2 Charter Schools

It looks like the new Democrats in the Statehouse are moving fast on their promised attack on Charters. An article in the Dayton Daily News caught my attention:

DAYTON - Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann filed suit Wednesday seeking to force the two city charter schools to close, arguing that they have failed to live up to their obligations to educate children.

The schools are Colin Powell Leadership Academy, 834 Randolph St., and New Choices Community School, 601 S. Keowee St.
The move was hailed by teachers unions as an overdue step toward accountability. They have long been critics of charter schools but assailed by supporters of the charter movement as a declaration of war on charters.

Dann's lawsuits target the schools' status as "charitable trusts" under state law. He argues that by operating schools that produce consistently poor academic results, the trusts are not living up to the law's requirements.
Ron Adler, president of the Ohio Coalition for a Quality Education, said the move was an attempt to circumvent state law.

Ohio has just implemented new rules that will close charter schools rated in the lowest state category for three straight years.

"I'm not opposed to closing schools, but you have to do it orderly and you have to follow the law," he said. "It seems like they're trying to expand the powers of their office."

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