Columbus, OH – Areport from Innovation Ohiofocused on the state’s new budget finds a huge increase in spending on voucher payments to private schools and a return to lax, pre-ECOT scandal charter school oversight. This is the latest budgetary explosion for a voucher program that has increased more than 600% since 2011.
“Given the ECOT scandal, it is astounding that statehouse leaders would loosen rules around failing charter schools that suck money out of Ohio public school classrooms,” said Innovation Ohio Education Fellow and report author Stephen Dyer. “What we need is closer scrutiny and reigning in these payments to private schools.”
The report highlights four key giveaway to poor-performing, privately run schools:
1. Weakening rules to automatically close failing charter schools
2. Lowering standards for dropout recovery schools
3. Weakening oversight of charter school sponsors, many of whom are for-profit companies
4. A huge increase in public dollars flowing to private schools via vouchers
The voucher expansion alone could cost Ohio public school districts another $73 million over two years, on top of an already ballooning $389 million per year private school voucher program.
Over the last several years, Innovation Ohio has been leading the fight to expose Ohio’s failing charter school system and sounding the alarm bells around expanding voucher programs.