For Immediate Release: April 22, 2014
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
IO: Charter School Funding Short-Changes Traditional Public School Students By 6.6%
93% of Ohio Students Get Less Money than State Says They Need;
Study Also Finds Majority of Charter Transfer Students Leave Districts With Higher Performance Scores
Columbus — Using data provided by the Ohio Department of Education, Innovation Ohio released a study today that raises a host of questions concerning the funding and operation of charter schools in Ohio, especially those run by for-profit operators. Innovation Ohio is a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus. Read the report here.
The study’s principal findings are:
- The “flawed” manner in which charter schools are funded has resulted in traditional school students receiving, on average, 6.6% less state funding this year than the Ohio Department of Education says they need;
- A number of high-performing suburban school districts are now among the biggest per-pupil funding losers;
- Well over half of all state money sent to charters goes to schools that perform worse than traditional public schools on either or both of the state’s two performance measurements (the Report Card and the Performance Index);
- 53% of children transferring into charter schools are leaving districts whose performance is better than the charters into which they are going;
- On average, Ohio charters spend nearly double the amount spent by traditional public schools on non-instructional administrative costs (24% vs. 13%)
Said Innovation Ohio President Janetta King:
“From the way they’re funded to the way they perform, Ohio’s charter schools are different from those in other states. Until Ohio’s funding mechanism is fixed, the 93% of children who stay in traditional public schools will continue to be penalized — and cheated out of receiving the level of state funding that even the Ohio Department of Education says they need. Until there is true accountability for charters, too many students and their parents will continue to be victimized.
“While a handful of Ohio charters do an excellent job, the vast majority do not. And that is why legislators and other state officials must stop using “school choice” as a mindlessly repeated mantra divorced from real world consequences. All public schools and administrators should be held to the same level of accountability, regardless of whether their buildings are called ‘charter’ or ‘traditional.’ And students who choose to say in traditional public schools should not suffer inadequate funding simply because others made a different choice.
‘Finally — and especially because the majority of students transferring into charter schools are leaving districts that actually perform better — it is vital that parents be provided with accurate and up-to-date information concerning comparative academic performance. Surely the state has no interest in promoting “choices” which result in worse poorer academic outcomes and fewer educational opportunities for our young people.”