Earlier this week a certain Youngstown new source ran an article asserting that charter schools in Ohio should no longer receive educational grants from the federal government. Why? Because a few charter schools in Ohio have had less than satisfactory performance. The news source recognizes that new federal grants have additional rules and regulations that were crafted to avoid future under-performance, but these rules do not seem to be enough for opponents of charter schools.
This situation is a great example of opponents of charter schools. They will claim any reason to oppose charter schools, but when steps are taken to improve any situation that may be less than ideal, they will continue their opposition. This is because charter opponents are not against charter schools for “the children’s” sake, but for the special interests of the teachers unions.
Opposition to any sort of educational choice in Mahoning County, with Youngstown in particular seems hypocritical at best. Youngstown City schools have been such a long and spectacular failure that the state has had to step in and take control of the district. Situations like Youngstown City schools show why school choice, with charters in particular, is important. Students should not be condemned to such a poor public choice as Youngstown City Schools if there could be an alternative.
In 2015 the General Assembly and the Governor’s office, but controlled by Republicans, took step to refine rules governing charter schools in the state to improve performance. These state office holders recognized that a small amount of under-performing schools does not represent the whole of charter schools in the state, and that the best approach was a policy driven refinement based on what has worked and what has not worked in Ohio and other states.
It is hard to take such opponents like this seriously on their critic of charter schools, when other public school districts are constantly fleecing the taxpayer. One rural school district in Mahoning County in particular has put additional levies on the ballot almost continuously for the last several years. After the last attempt, the school district miraculously “found” over a million dollars in their budget not previously accounted for.
If regular news agencies put as much scrutiny on normal public schools as they did on charter schools, perhaps the overall educational performance in the state would improve.