State law requires automatic closure of charter schools that are lagging academically, but loopholes have allowed operators to keep some failing schools open.
The research from Policy Matters Ohio found seven of 20 schools on the state’s closure list are still operating – some under different names, but with the same staff. Report co-author Piet van Lier says many of these schools are not doing any better than they were before they were ordered to close.
Van Lier says the state has favored a 'quantity over quality' approach with charter schools. In his view, the operators need to be held accountable for the academic performance of their schools.
Van Lier says charter schools continue to collect millions of dollars in public funds, so it’s critical to know how the money is being used – and whether it's funding schools that are failing to educate students to the state standards.
Lier adds that over the past decade, funding for charter schools has increased faster than enrollment.
Governor John Kasich recently proposed a new school funding system that expands charter school funding, by giving schools different amounts of state money, depending on each student's home district. But details have not been released.