Public charter schools are under attack – again. A new movement has started here in Ohio for local school districts to bill the Ohio Department of Education for money “lost” to charter schools. The latest district sent an invoice to the ODE for $46 million this past week. They are not the first to do this, and unfortunately are not likely the last.
Parma City School Board’s bill to ODE for $46 million is for what the district is calling “unfair and excess” funding to charter schools. This is similar to the stance other districts in Ohio, Troy City, Woodridge Local, Logan Hocking to name a few, have taken. House Bill 2 was signed just a few weeks ago and lawmakers took steps to reform Ohio’s charter school system. As our lawmakers continue to work diligently to ensure equality in Ohio’s educational system, these districts choose to undermine the progress being made. To a parent, this is rather disrespectful.
This district is also apparently uneducated about the funding of charter schools. Charter schools are funded by the state. They do not receive property tax revenues. When a student leaves the district and turns to a charter school for their educational needs, the state funds follow the student. Property taxes stay with the district. The greed coming out of the districts invoicing ODE is unreal. They now want taxpayer dollars for students they’re not even paying to educate! Their poor taste shows families within the district that the focus is not on what is best for students, but what is best for the district’s ledger.
School choice is not going anywhere any time soon. It is imperative to give families the right to choose how their child will be educated. The acts of districts like Parma City show their greed and disrespect to lawmakers and parents alike, who have the choice to place their student in the school that will best help them succeed.