School districts say charter schools cost them

School districts say charter schools cost them


A large amount of taxpayer money meant for public education is being siphoned off by charter schools and vouchers, local school treasurers say.

Financial information from Austintown, Boardman, Canfield, Poland and South Range was presented Monday night at Austintown Middle School during a forum called “What Does School Choice Cost Community Taxpayers?” sponsored by The League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown. More than 60 people attended.

When a student leaves a public school district, “the amount transferred is almost always more than the state would have given to the district for that pupil,” said Steve Dyer, education policy fellow at Innovation Ohio.

Dyer said the state’s per-pupil contribution averages $7,004 for charter schools, $6,320 for online schools, $4,971 for vouchers and $3,033 for local school districts.

“This is a problem,” he said. “... And it’s up to grassroots activists to go down to Columbus and change the system.”

Another problem with the public money going to charter schools is a loss of governance, said William L. Phillis, executive director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding.

Read more in Tuesday’s Vindicator

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