There is a new movement starting on the attack against public charter schools. Local boards of education are starting to send invoices to the state for money they say they “lost” to charter schools.
Recently in Troy, Ohio, the Troy City Schools Board of Education approved a resolution to send a $4.4 million invoice to ODE. The BOE claimed the money they “lost” is going to failing charter schools. Yes, there are failing public charters, just as there are failing public brick and mortar schools. There are improvements to be made on both ends of the spectrum. Earlier this fall, House Bill 2 was signed to improve charter school accountability. Pulling a tactic like this as our leaders are publicly letting us know they're working hard to make all educational choices sound and viable is disrespectful.
This particular school district also went on to insinuate that the only areas where public schools are failing are in urban areas, making cities the only place public charters are needed. Obviously, this is untrue. Kids can struggle in a traditional environment, no matter where they live and no matter how “good” the school is. A good education shouldn’t be dictated by geography. The entire Supreme Court ruling that changed Ohio’s school funding formula years ago is based on this fact. How can they say that only parents living in certain areas of the state deserve to have options for their kids?
On a financial note, Troy City Schools BOE must not realize that money they receive for students is only theirs if a student enrolls in their district. Money follows students. The state pays for students to be educated in the public school of their parent’s choice. Now this and other districts want taxpayer dollars for students they’re not even paying to educate? This is greed at its finest and showing families within the district that their focus is not on what is best for students, but what is best for their ledger.
School choice, parental choice is imperative no matter where we live. And the acts of districts like Troy City Schools, Woodridge Local and Logan Hocking to name a few shows negligence in how school funding works. It’s also shameful not only to our lawmakers, who are resolute in making changes that will benefit all students, but disrespectful to parents who have the choice to place their student in the school that will best help them succeed.