In Ohio, all schools receive funds from the state based on the number of enrolled students.
With the rise of charter schools in Ohio, public schools have lost many of their students and, in turn, much of their funding to these new, often for-profit charters.
While most local public school districts have rules requiring students to live within that district, charter schools often don’t have such restrictions. Students who attend Ohio’s online schools, for example, can live in any school district.
As a result public schools are put at a disadvange having to compete for students and funding with other schools that get to play by a different set of rules.
Now one public school district is trying to fight back.
Instead of raising local taxes to cover a possible budget deficit, the School Superintendent in Austintown, OH has proposed offering open enrollment to all of the township’s schools.
Personally, I like the idea of local public schools serving their local communities. All schools should have the funds they need to provide high-quality education to all of their students without having to fight for students and funds with other schools.
But until the state smartens up and fixes our school funding mess – which includes shutting down for-profit charter schools that have scammed Ohio’s taxpayers out of millions of dollars – these are the kind of hard choices local public school districts are going to have to make.