I remember, during the Patton administration, going to Frankfort to talk to former State Senator Ed Ford about starting Charter School legislation in Kentucky. I liked the idea of getting out from under certain regulations (or was it authorities) that we believed made it harder for us to meet our goals. Ford rejected the idea saying Kentucky was just "not ready" for charter schools. After all these years the results for states with charter schools appears to be very mixed.
The Cincinnati Post reports:
"Gov. Ted Strickland crossed the state Thursday to promote his $53 billion spending blueprint as anger flared among advocates of education choice over his plan to scrap the state voucher program outside Cleveland and cut off state funding to for-profit charter schools..."
"The charter school movement in Ohio has been a dismal failure," Strickland said during a Thursday stop in Cleveland.
"What I'm asking for in terms of charter schools is simply that they are held to the same standards of fiscal and educational accountability that we are expecting out of our public schools."
Ohio has the nation's largest voucher program, which was born as an experiment in Cleveland in 1995 and expanded by the state in 2005 to include other low-performing public districts.
David Zanotti, president of the conservative policy think tank that fought for years to protect vouchers, said backers are mobilizing parents to fight the plan. "It's a much more aggressive attack than we anticipated," said Zanotti, of the Ohio Roundtable.
"His opinions against vouchers were known, but to start throwing kids out of school is really a shock to everyone."
Public schools have complained for years about losing money to charter schools and private schools that students attend through the voucher program. Cutting the program for 2,829 students participating outside Cleveland would put $13 million a year back into public schools.