Ohio Public School Advocacy Network
This morning, I road tested a new website designed to help citizens in Ohio better understand how the 400 publicly-funded charter schools in their state compare to their traditional public schools. The website is called KnowYourCharter.com. For my road test, I selected my alma mater, the Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools. A 1,500-student district located 12 miles north of Dayton, Milton-Union not only lost $252,223 this year in state funding to publicly-funded charter schools but received less in state funding than all of its charter school counterparts. While Milton-Union received $4,115 per student, state funding per student for eight area charter schools was as follows: Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow ($6,440), Virtual Community School of Ohio ($6,131), Ohio Connections Academy, Inc. ($6,142), Pathway School of Discovery ($6,435), Life Skills Center of Dayton ($8,046), Greater Ohio Virtual School ($6,484), Mound Street Health Careers Academy ($8,076) and Summit Academy Transition High School of Dayton ($16,745). Statewide, Ohio’s public schools are losing more than $900 million a year in state funding to publicly-funded charter schools.
This past Friday, something really important happened in Ohio. On November 21, sixty superintendents met in Columbus to discuss an initiative that I believe will prove to be historically significant for the children who attend Ohio’s public schools. The initiative is to provide citizens with a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy, and it is being led by a coalition of superintendents from 29 school districts in the Buckeye State. While I will be contacting all of the meeting participants to gain additional insight into the impact of what was discussed, this is my initial takeaway from what occurred. First, I think that Friday’s discussion is ultimately going to make a significant difference for our children. By giving citizens a stronger voice in determining education policy, they will be able to address with Ohio’s education policymakers the fact that our children are being over tested, our teachers are physically exhausted and emotionally demoralized, and our tax dollars are being diverted to the corporate sector to replace our public schools with a privately managed, free-market system of education. Second, the meeting validated the hard work of this superintendent-led coalition and has given the initiative… Continue reading