The Arizona Senate has passed a charter school reform bill that does not have enough substance to gain support from Democrats. The bill now goes to the House, where Democrats will try to amend it and perhaps be able to make it better.

Arizona has been a leader in school reform and has produced some good results. However, charter schools have not had enough rules and oversight to prevent abuses in some cases. Also, traditional district schools have not been able to cope with the competition very well because they have been left at a disadvantage.

The billion-dollar charter school industry helped write the bill and supports it. However, Republicans have a slimmer majority in the House and may need to accept some of the ideas they rejected in the Senate.

Charter schools obviously should be allowed the independence that has brought new ideas to education. However, more accountability should be required for the public money that is being spent.

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