Ohio taxpayers are mortified by the glut of recent charter school scandals reported in the news. One story revealed that no sector misspends tax dollars more than charter schools in Ohio. Others informed citizens of ethics charges, inappropriate spending practices, and even criminal violations in some charters.
Of the 400 charter schools in Ohio, about six percent of them perform as well as or better than the average of public school districts. The majority of Ohio charter schools are not providing the education that our children deserve.
David Hansen, ODE’s school choice director, even scrubbed failing grades for online schools out of key charter school evaluations.
Charter schools were supposedly created as exemplars of innovation in publicly-funded schools, but that doesn’t seem to be to be the case. It’s time to put a stop to the waste of our precious tax dollars. People need to become well informed about this issue, so they can intelligently advocate for legislation that stops mandating that local school district taxes subsidize poorly performing charter schools.
The Ohio Charter School Accountability Project has an easy to navigate website found at http://knowyourcharter.com/, and it was designed to help Ohio citizens understand how publicly-funded charter schools compare to traditional public schools. The data comes right from the Ohio Department of Education, and it tells how schools perform and how much money is spent in the classroom.
KnowYourCharter provides access to Ohio’s most recent report card statistics in a simple format. At one time, it required visiting many different websites to access this relevant information, so seeing the facts organized in one location gives us a better picture of what’s happening in education.
Since Ohio charter schools have less accountability required by state law than traditional public schools, it’s critical that parents, educators, and administrators are able to see and compare the performance of taxpayer-funded charter schools and public schools. An important component for elected school leaders and their constituents is that the site also reveals the amount of money deducted from state aid to public schools and transferred to charter schools.
Taxpayers are entitled to know what the charter schools cost their local school districts.
KnowYourCharter has many simple-to-use features. The “Home” page compares the performance and other information of school districts and charter schools. “School Performance” shows how charter schools, public schools, and entire school districts are achieving side-by-side. A “News & Analysis” page links readers to current newspaper reports on charter schools, and it also analyzes details such as performance, indirect costs, and funding.
The Ohio Charter School Accountability Project is a significant resource that needs to be used on a regular basis by every public school district in their communication with parents and families. There is an incredible amount of confusion about Ohio charter schools, but KnowYourCharter will provide timely factual information that can clear up any misconceptions.
Ask your local school board how KnowYourCharter is shared with district taxpayers. Any district that doesn’t publicize this data is ignoring some real eye-opening evidence about the cost of charter schools to public schools.
Now is the time for public school districts to develop a comprehensive plan to attract students back from charters as well. http://conta.cc/1OVTCFw
With unfunded mandates and state budget cuts to public schools, districts can’t afford to lose students to a parallel school system that doesn’t provide a quality education for all.
We are many. There is power in our numbers. Together we will save PUBLIC EDUCATION.