Special Report
School & District Management

Ohio Lawmaker: End Charter School Moratorium

By The Associated Press — August 03, 2009 2 min read

Ohio should end a moratorium on new charter schools so the state can compete for additional federal stimulus money, a GOP state lawmaker said.

State Sen. Jon Husted of Kettering said Friday the state’s limits on charter schools may prevent it from competing for money from President Obama’s $4.35 billion Race to the Top grants. The grants are considered the largest amount of discretionary funding K-12 education in the nation’s history.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently wrote in an opinion piece that states that cap the number of charter schools “will be at a competitive disadvantage.”

Dangling the promise of the grants, Obama has pressured states to embrace his ideas for overhauling the nation’s schools, ideas that include performance pay for teachers and charter schools. To get the money, state officials may have to do things they, or the teachers’ unions, dislike. But in a recession that is starving state budgets, the new “Race to the Top” fund is proving impossible for some states to resist.

Already, seven states — Tennessee, Rhode Island, Indiana, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado and Illinois — have lifted restrictions on charter schools so they can compete for the money.

Husted does not favor the economic stimulus plan that Congress approved earlier this year under President Obama’s leadership. But he said Ohio, which has roughly 300 charter schools that educate roughly 88,000 children, should make sure it can compete for the money.

“We should attempt to put ourselves in the position to secure these resources,” said Husted, an ardent supporter of charter schools and a former speaker of the Ohio House.

But Democrats, who are generally more skeptical of charter schools, believe Ohio may be able to compete for the federal funds even with the limits in place. State Rep. Stephen Dyer, an Akron-area Democrat, says the federal government may take note of important exceptions to Ohio’s moratorium.

The 2007 moratorium exempted the state’s eight large urban districts, as well as districts rated in academic watch or academic emergency.

“The feds might look at that differently than a strict moratorium,” Dyer said.

Amanda Wurst, spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, said the administration expects Ohio to be competitive for the federal dollars. She said the state is awaiting further guidance from Duncan’s department before seeking a specific amount.

Husted said he soon plans to introduce legislation that would lift the limits on charter schools. He said his legislation, like current law, will require sponsors and operators to have proven track records running successful schools.

“I wouldn’t want people to believe that we are opening the door for anybody to open a school,” Husted said.

In the latest state budget, Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise on charter schools that left funding for the schools essentially intact. Strickland originally proposed more than a $200 million cut in charter school funding.

Related Tags:

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management L.A. Unified to Require Testing of Students, Staff Regardless of Vaccination Status
The policy change in the nation's second-largest school district comes amid rising coronavirus cases, largely blamed on the Delta variant.
Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
4 min read
L.A. schools interim Sup Megan K. Reilly visits Fairfax High School's "Field Day" event to launch the Ready Set volunteer recruitment campaign to highlight the nationwide need for mentors and tutors, to prepare the country's public education students for the upcoming school year. The event coincides with National Summer Learning Week, where U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is highlighting the importance of re-engaging students and building excitement around returning to in-person learning this fall. high school, with interim LAUSD superintendent and others. Fairfax High School on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.
In this July 14, 2021, photo, Los Angeles Unified School District interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly speaks at an event at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. Reilly announced a new district policy Thursday requiring all students and employees of the Los Angeles school district to take weekly coronavirus tests regardless of their vaccination status.
Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via TNS
School & District Management Why School Boards Are Now Hot Spots for Nasty Politics
Nationalized politics, shifts in local news coverage, and the rise of social media are turning school board meetings into slug fests.
11 min read
Collage of people yelling, praying, and masked in a board room.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion The Six Leadership Lessons I Learned From the Pandemic
These guiding principles can help leaders prepare for another challenging year—and any future crises to come.
David Vroonland
3 min read
A hand about to touch a phone.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion When the National Education Debate Is Too Noisy, Look Local
A local network of your peers can offer not just practical advice, but an emotional safe harbor.
Christian M. Elkington
2 min read
A team of workmen on scaffolding rely on each other.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images