Shortly after the Ohio House passed House Bill 2 (HB2) - a bill proposing changes to the way charter schools are governed in Ohio - the Senate is now in the spotlight.  Senate Bill 148 (SB148) has taken what the sponsors consider to be the best of House Bill 2 and amped it up. 

Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) has being working on charter school reform in Ohio for quite awhile and is leading the charge.  Co-sponsoring the bill is Sen. Tom Sawyer (D-Akron), while Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) sponsor of HB2 has publicly considered introducing legislation parallel to SB148 in the House.  “We failed to put up the sort of guardrails that would ensure responsible governance,” Lehner said of the current state of charter schools in Ohio.  Lehner also went on to report that HB2 was a step in the right direction, but taking a giant leap forward is what she proposes to do in the latest bill. 

Details of SB148 are as follows.

-       Many of HB2 provisions will be included.

-       Positives and negatives of charter schools will be brought forth.

-       Loopholes will be closed.

-       Standards will be enhanced.

-       For-profit and nonprofit operators will be providing more detailed spending accounts.

-       Charter school truancy policies will match those of traditional schools.

-       Poorly performing charter schools will be required to stay with their current sponsors, not sponsor-hop.

-       eSchools will be required to keep accurate records of how students participate in learning each day.

-       eSchools will also be required to provide a testing/tutoring location within 50 miles of each student.

-       School districts will be permitted to lease property to a charter school with set exchanges.

-       A charter school facilities assistance program will be started.

-       The need to intervene and/or revoke sponsorship authority will be addressed.

-       Criminal records checks will be mandated for those serving on a charter school board or assisting with financial management.

For more detailed information on Senate Bill 148, feel free to visit some of the article links below, as well as the bill itself.

Senate Bill 148 – Charter school operators…

Columbus Dispatch – Ohio Senate bill tackles…

Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Be on the lookout for more information from us.  We’ll update once we know of any changes that will affect our charter school families.