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Ohio high court rules charter schools constitutional

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Ohio [official website] on Wednesday held [opinion, PDF; summary] that state charter or community schools are valid and the statute authorizing them is constitutional "on its face and as applied." Chapter 3314 of the Ohio Revised Code [text] allows the state legislature to fund charter schools, which have grown from 15 to 250 statewide since the law's inception. The court split 4-3 with the majority finding that charter schools are a permissible form of schooling and are entitled to local and state tax revenues. The dissent suggested that charter schools unfairly compete with traditional public schools for state funding.

The Ohio PTA [advocacy website], along with teachers' unions, citizens' and educational groups, first challenged the state's charter school law in 2001, attacking the state for the different standards for traditional public schools and charter schools [US charter schools website; Ohio state profile] and for the diversion of local taxes to the privately operated charter schools. The lower standardized test scores of charter school students have drawn criticism from the schools' opponents. AP has more.

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