Mr. Hogan wants to loosen the reins on charter schools, including giving them the power to hire and fire their teachers.

That has turned into a dicey proposition for charter school legislation before the Maryland General Assembly, where a stalwart of Maryland’s Democratic machine, Mike Miller, has served as Senate president since 1975.

Mr. Hogan, a Republican, assumed office in January, and as you can imagine, Mr. Miller, 72, who grew up in the southern part of liberal Prince George’s County, doesn’t naturally cotton to Republicans or fiscal conservatives running things in Annapolis.

An infusion of pro-choice perspectives may be just what’s needed — and they needed it yesterday.

A study released Monday by the Center for Education Reform shows that Maryland students and parents just can’t seem to get a break in the Old Line State, which didn’t pass charter school laws until 2003 and where lawmakers and the O’Malley administration have been moving slower than molasses ever since.

The study, which ranked the District and the 42 states with charter laws, said this:

“Maryland should be ranked dead last on this scorecard. However, despite the odds being stacked against them, charter schools in the Old Line State shine. Maryland has one of the weakest charter laws in the country because of the enormous obstacles charter applicants face from school boards the minute they show interest. Charters face outward hostilities from boards, [and] are micromanaged, operationally limited, poorly funded and are not even allowed to hire their own principals and staff to ensure success under their model. Lawmakers in Annapolis are poised to change that in 2015 with a modest, yet promising, proposal on the table.”

Charters were birthed in hostile environments of unions, progressives and beholders of the status quo, and school-choice supporters continue to battle those same elements.

Take charter school staffing. The individual schools do not have carte blanche to draft and cherry-pick to hire. The schools don’t even have carte blanche to fire a teacher who doesn’t measure up or can’t handle the academic truth.

That authority — that power and that cherry-picking — rests in the hands of the various school districts, which abide by state law when it comes hiring, firing, retirement and the like. The districts also control operational matters and spending.

He who controls the purse strings holds the power.

Enter Mr. Hogan and his budget, which are trying to get Annapolis to do right by Maryland families. Mr. Hogan is trying to get lawmakers to think about charter students instead of charter schools.

Sometimes D.C. is an example

On Tuesday, a slew of education overseers are scheduled to release a new audit of D.C. charter schools, and there is room for concern, especially considering a press release that said an audit found that the chartering authority and the state superintendent “had room for improvement.”

On the other hand, the Center for Education Reform found that the District “has the strongest charter school law in the country,” which is a very, very good thing for families.

D.C. charter schools enroll about 44 percent of city students compared with traditional public schools, and have higher academic proficiency and advanced rates — even among special-education and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Charter schools, meanwhile, are underfunded, and students get short-shrift regarding sports/recreational and other facilities.

That’s because the purse strings that affect D.C. students are controlled by the mayor and the lawmakers, as is the case in the Maryland.

Critics of charter schools are right: Charters take money from traditional public schools. But that is because the money is supposed to follow the student into the charter schoolhouse.

Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t, which is why a lawsuit on behalf of charter students was filed against D.C.

He who controls the purse strings …