News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

Ohio Charter Sponsor Under Investigation

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Controversy continues to grow around Ohio’s largest sponsor of charter schools.

State Auditor Betty Montgomery is investigating whether the Lucas County Educational Service Center illegally awarded contracts to charter operators. The state board of education also asked the state attorney general this month for an opinion regarding the charter contracts.

The center’s five-member governing board voted last year to delegate its authority to grant charter school contracts to the center’s superintendent, Tom Baker. If the board’s action was illegal, the center’s contracts with operators of at least 78 schools could be deemed invalid. The center currently has contracts with 113 schools.

Meanwhile, the governing board refused to accept Mr. Baker’s request to retire. Instead, Mr. Baker will be on vacation until Sept. 1. In addition, the center’s board on July 19 reaffirmed its contracts with all its charter school operators.

Vol. 24, Issue 43, Page 30

Published in Print: July 27, 2005, as Ohio Charter Sponsor Under Investigation

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