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Friday, March 23, 2007

Ohio Education Association Files Suit Over Charter Schools: Dayton Lost $189 Million

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Ohio's largest teachers' union filed suit against the state board of education in Franklin County Common Pleas Court contending lax oversight of charter schools has devastated public eduction in Ohio.

The Ohio Education Association's announcement of its legal action is HERE. It closely follows Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland's moves to revamp and restore traditional public school systems and end the Republican-dominated Ohio General Assembly's school choice reforms.

According to OEA, the school choice movement has created havoc by siphoning money away from classrooms. It said state officials have been less than attentive to how millions in public funds were spent by charter school operators, and they asked few questions about results charter schools were delivering. In other words, were kids learning, or were privateers profiting?

"The lawsuit cited devastating consequences for the Dayton Public Schools due to the loss of state and local funding and the lack of state oversight for the state's community schools (charter schools) program. Since 2000, Dayton Public Schools have lost $189 million in state funding to local charter schools.

"The plaintiffs allege that the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Board of Education have not properly monitored the performance of charter schools. Nor have they required charter schools to comply with the terms of their contracts and state law."

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