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Just when I think the charter scandals in Ohio can’t possibly get worse, they do. The State Auditor, a Republican named Dave Yost, reported that a charter owner had inflated enrollment and overcharged the state by $1,3 million.
“General Chappie James Leadership Academy in Dayton reported enrollment of 459 students, however an investigation by state Auditor Dave Yost found nearly half of those students had never attended or long since left the school.
“To illustrate the extent of the deception, Yost said one parent told investigators “her kid could not have been in school because the child was incarcerated for two years. Another family had moved to Georgia.”
The state may never recover the money because the school closed a year ago. “Results of the investigation have been passed along to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office for review and possible criminal charges.”
When will Ohio taxpayers wake up?
Valerie Strauss sums up the embarrassing situationS of the Ohio charter industry: It has become a national joke.
Strauss quotes a story in the Plain Dealer in Ohio saying:
Ohio, the charter school world is making fun of you.
Ohio’s $1 billion charter school system was the butt of jokes at a conference for reporters on school choice in Denver late last week, as well as the target of sharp criticism of charter school failures across the state.
The shots came from expected critics like teachers unions, but also from pro-charter voices, as the state considers ways to improve how it handles charters …
Even charter supporters were laughing at Ohio’s troubled charter sector, which is low-performing and riddled with ethically challenged charter operators who care more about profits than education.
An example of a joke from the conference: “Be very glad that you have Nevada, so you are not the worst,” charter researcher Margaret “Macke” Raymond said of Ohio. Raymond, from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, conducts research on charter schools and issued a report late last year that said Ohio charter school students learn 36 days less math and 14 days less reading than traditional public school students — conclusions she drew from crunching data obtained from student standardized test scores.
Lest we forget: Nevada recently passed an all-state voucher program so that almost any student can attend a charter school, a religious school, a virtual school, or be home schooled. This is the state that Macke Raymond holds up as the worst in the nation for the poor quality of its choice schools. And Nevada wants more, to cement its reputation as the worst of the worst!