Protect taxpayers and Ohio charter schools

Charter schools can be excellent alternatives to the public education system. But, like their government-run counterparts, they have to follow the rules, too.

Not enough thought went into charter schools when Ohio first began allowing them and providing for some government funding. Charter schools should be held accountable for how they spend taxpayers’ money. Their students’ successes or lack of them should be monitored in the same way public schools are evaluated.

State officials have been moving in that direction. Last week, the Ohio Department of Education revealed three charter-school sponsors were warned to follow the rules.

Unless deficiencies in the sponsors’ applications and approvals processes are corrected, the six schools they plan to operate will be shut down. The schools are planned for Cincinnati, Dayton and Lebanon.

Some private school operators worry government rules are an attempt to keep them from competing with public schools. That should not be tolerated.

But Ohio seems to be moving toward a fair system that safeguards taxpayers’ money – and protects parents and students in charter schools. State officials are right to do that.