In recent years, a continually increasing flow of public money has been going to charter schools under the guise of school choice. Reportedly, approximately $1,000,000 from taxpayers has been funneled to this charter school scheme, for which a reported 120,000 students are online, with a reported 30,000 students not even in “bricks and mortar” schools, exclusively online. For the past few years, evidence has been clearly revealing that many, in fact most, charter schools are either failing or underperforming, particularly in comparison to traditional public schools.
This redistribution of public tax dollars to charter schools, intended to fund public education in Ohio, equates to about $8,333 per online student, including so-called “schools” that are essentially non-existent physically for the 30,000 students working entirely online. Yet local districts, with actual buildings and far-reaching costs to meet the many state mandates, receive approximately $6,000 per student.
“Actual” schools and the many programs and activities they provide are the root of American communities, particularly small towns. Without them, much of what America is will fade away.
While it’s encouraging to see the recently passed state legislation addressing charter school accountability and shortcomings, the reality is that much more should be done to address the gross disparity and underfunding for traditional public schools. It’s time for the charade to be stopped.
Former PDY superintendent