Dann wants underperforming schools shut down

John O'Brien Sep. 13, 2007, 3:51pm


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann wants public funds to go to a better destination than the two charter schools he recently sued.

Dann filed suit Wednesday against New Choices Community School and the Colin Powell Leadership Academy, private schools that receive public funds. He says the schools have failed to meet financial and academic standards.

Trust law, Dann wrote, "requires that the trust funds be redirected to enterprises more likely to achieve the trust's general purpose: to provide a public education meeting State standards."

New Choices has received nearly $7 million in public funding, even though it has met only 1 of 29 academic standards in its six years. Colin Powell Leadership Academy has received more than $1.05 million while meeting only 1 of 61 academic standards.

Dann told the Columbus Dispatch there are approximately 30 charter schools that are having similar struggles. The State supports 311 charter schools, educating 76,000 students.

According to the report, a spokeswoman for Republican House Speaker Jon Husted, a charter-school supporter, said Husted does not have much faith in Dann.

"We support closing underperforming community schools or underperforming public schools. That said, we have very little confidence in Attorney General Dann's approach," Karen Tabor said.

As a result of the suits, the Ohio Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, will drop its suit against the State that claimed it was not properly monitoring charter schools.

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