Accountability Charter Schools Education Industry Failure Funding Ohio

Stephen Dyer: Ohio Shifts District Funds to Charters

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Stephen Dyer is a former state legislator who keeps close watch on school finance in Ohio. I missed this post when it was posted a few months ago, but it retains its ability to shock. Open the link to see his graphs and documentation.

Dyer wrote:

Despite House Bill 2, which was supposed to slim down our notoriously poor-performing charter school sector and the closure of the nation’s largest online school — ECOT — which closed because the school literally stole hundreds of millions of tax dollars to educate kids they never educated, we are currently spending more on charter schools than any other year on record.

By a mile.

According to the latest Charter School funding report from the Ohio Department of Education, we are set to spend $999.7 million. The previous record was $955 million from the 2015-2016 school year — the high-point of the ECOT years.

Despite this massive recent increase (an extraordinary $111 million jump … over two years), it’s not because we’ve had more students attending charters than ever.

No. That record remains the 2013-2014 school year when 122,130 students attended charters.

As I’ve recounted for more than a decade, because of the way we fund charters, that means that local property taxes have to subsidize charter school kids.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in Rocket Science to understand that if you’re removing $8,500 in state aid from a district for a kid the district was only getting about half of that from the state to educate that the difference has to come from somewhere.

This year, that subsidy is slated to be $148 million. And in some districts, it’s really high. Like in Columbus where $62 million in local revenue has to subsidize the state funding deduction for charters…

Anyway, the data demonstrates pretty clearly that charter schools have plenty of money right now to educate their kids. Why? Because they don’t have to adhere to 150 plus state regulations, pay for buses and pay their teachers 40% less, on average, than districts with leaner benefits.

So you don’t have to spend nearly as much in a charter as you do a district…

Dyer then reviews the abysmal performance of charter schools compared to district schools and concludes:

I give you this overall horrible performance for you to mull over as the state considers investing more than $1 billion in this education sector that’s produced more state report card grades of F than all others combined since we’ve had the A-F system.

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