A new bill (HB 87) from Republican Rep. Kristina Roegner would require funds recovered from charter schools be returned to school districts: a really good proposal, but Ohio’s track record of collecting misspent charter money is less than 10 percent.
Charter funds are deducted from school districts and thus misspent by charters should be returned to the source. That is a no-brainer!
But Ohio has been conspicuously unsuccessful in collecting misused funds from charters. HB 87 should be amended to require state officials to aggressively pursue misspent funds and hold charter school sponsors responsible for repaying the funds if such cannot be collected from the offending charter.
This bill is timely. According to the Ohio Department of Education audits, ECOT owes school districts between $60 and $80 million for one school year alone. The ECOT scandal may be the tip of the iceberg in charterland misspending.
William L. Phillis, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding