According to a post by The Thomas B. Fordham Institute yesterday, the new budget released by House Republicans “risks making the Buckeye State the nation’s laughing stock when it comes to charter school programs.”

Fordham is hardly an unbiased observer. They are an advocacy group focused on education and they are unabashedly pro-charter school. They even sponsor charter schools in Ohio, including the KIPP school in Columbus. While I don’t agree with them on a lot of their policy, their analysis of the new budget is dead-on.

As Fordham points out, Ohio’s charter system has faced a whole lot of problems over the years:

“… some of the people and organizations that launched schools were ill-prepared. Some had eccentric views of what a school should be. Some operators turned out to be more interested in personal enrichment than in delivering high-quality instruction to poor kids.”

Fordham also noticed the same problems with the budget that we pointed out yesterday – for-profit charters get to escape from silly and annoying things like oversight from their boards and their sponsors along with public records and public meetings, and they get to continue opening new schools even if their existing schools are failing. Obviously those “more interested in personal enrichment” than in educating our kids seem to be driving the agenda:

“instead of seeking a balance between choice and accountability, its plan focuses exclusively on how more schools can open, especially those by for-profit companies with less-than -stellar track records of success in the state”

It’s not too late for Batch and crew to listen and take Fordham’s message to heart.

When a well-respected supporter of charter schools tells you your charter school agenda makes you look like a bunch of sell outs to for-profit charter school operators, when they tell you your plan goes too far and risks making the whole system into a “laughing stock”, maybe you should listen.