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Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown Says New Rules On Charter School Oversight Will Create More Transparency

photo of Sherrod Brown

The U.S. Department of Education is implementing new rules on charter schools, many of which were suggested by a delegation of Ohio lawmakers.

Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced the Charter School Accountability Act last year, saying it would strengthen transparency, and increase community involvement for Ohio's 123,000 charter school students. The new rules require independent financial audits, as well as a public database of academic and financial performance.

Sen. Brown says many of the new rules center on how Ohio must handle a $71 million grant to expand charter schools, received last year from the Department of Education.

“Many of the not-for-profits -- like KIPP in Columbus or Breakthrough in Cleveland [and] others – offer good-quality education, as our public schools typically do. But when you inject a profit motive into for-profit public K-12 or for-profit higher education, you’ve got to have better oversight. The temptation is always to try to expand the bottom line for the corporate executives, than it is to teach students.”

The federal funds were put on-hold following questions about the accuracy of Ohio’s grant application. The money is now being released to the state.

Ohio will also be required to form a Grant Implementation Advisory committee of parents, teachers and community members.