Thank you Chair Hite, Vice Chair Sawyer, and subcommittee members for giving me the opportunity to testify today in support of House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 148.
My name is Chad Aldis. I am the vice president for Ohio policy and advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a nonprofit research and policy organization with offices in Columbus, Dayton, and Washington, D.C. It’s worth noting, given the subject matter of my testimony, that Fordham’s Dayton office is also a charter school sponsor.
I’d like to start by commending Governor Kasich and legislative leaders from both chambers and both parties for taking on the issue of charter school reform. Despite bipartisan support for charter schools in much of the nation, they remain a deeply divisive issue in Ohio. My hope is that this bill could start to change that. At the end of the day, we all want our students to have access to high-quality schools.
Organizationally, Fordham has long focused on the need to improve accountability and performance in all Ohio schools. Last year, after seeing an onslaught of troubling stories about charter schools, we commissioned research to learn more about the problems that the charter sector was facing.
Getting to the bottom of the issue was important to us because Fordham has long been a supporter of all forms of school choice—including charter schools. We believe that it’s critical for parents to have a variety of high-quality educational options.
Our research consisted...