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The Financial Impact of Charter Schools...A Major Loss for Woodridge

UPublish story by Walter Davis, Superintendent

Charter schools drain money from public school districts across our state. Innovation Ohio, a nonpartisan, although avowedly progressive organization, has released an analysis of charter school funding that reveals several key findings.

-Because of the $774 million deducted from traditional public schools in FY 2012 to fund charters, children in traditional public schools received, on average, $235 (or 6.5%) less state aid than the state itself said they needed.

-More than 90% of the money sent to rated charter schools in the 2011-2012 school year went to charters that on average score significantly lower on the Performance Index Score than the public schools students had left.

-Over 40% of state funding for charters in 2011-2012 ($326 million) was transferred from traditional public districts that performed better on both the State Report Card and Performance Index.

 

Ohio charter schools receive a per pupil amount, based on enrollment, that is deducted from state formula funds allocated to the public school district where the child resides.

 

These deductions occur even if the child never attended their residential district schools. This year, Woodridge will lose nearly $450,000 in state funding due to charter schools. Sixty eight (68) resident children are currently enrolled in charter schools. It is interesting to note that NONE of those charter schools they attend have a rating as high as ours!

 

In fiscal year 2012, districts statewide lost an average of 6.5% of their state aid to charter schools. Ranked from highest loss to lowest, Woodridge was second highest in the state behind only Brooklyn City (Cuyahoga County). Woodridge district per pupil state aid is reduced by 42.9% due to charter schools!

 

While it is clear that there is a place for charter schools in our state and that some across our state are doing a good job educating the youngsters they serve, it is clear that the current mechanism by which these schools are funded only further illustrates how broken the overall school funding model in our state really is. I urge you to read more about it. Read more about this critical issue by visiting the Innovation Ohio website (innovationohio.org).


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