OH-04: The Real Cost of Charter Schools
by Rick Siferd for Congress, Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 04:29:11 AM EST
Last week, the Columbus Dispatch had a great article on the amount of taxpayer money some private charter schools are pocketing. One politically-connected charter school company takes a whopping 1/3 of taxpayer money for profit and management fees each year! That's $15.3 million dollars of your money that could have gone to better public education.
This misuse of taxpayer money was put into practice by some of the same irresponsible Republicans who have thrice ignored the Ohio Supreme Court's warning that our public school funding system is unconstitutional.
And, to make matters worse, these charter schools have lower education standards than public schools in Ohio.
Now, I don't pretend to have all the answers to our education challenges in Ohio. I'm thankful we have elected school boards to administer the nitty-gritty of educating the next generation in Ohio. But a few things seem to be pretty common-sense when it comes to education.
We can't afford to waste a single taxpayer dollar when it comes to education.
It's just common-sense. Every dollar wasted on inefficient bureaucracy or private profit is a dollar that isn't paying for more teachers, better books, or essential after-school programs. And we'll have to make up that dollar somewhere, whether it's another school levy or another pay-to-play sports program.
We can't afford to experiment with our kids' education.
While traditional parochial schools have long provided a religious alternative to public education, charter schools don't spend their money effectively and have lower standards than our public or parochial schools. These untested charter schools hurt parochial schools and public schools by lowering attendance at these historic local institutions.
We can't succeed with lower standards and higher prices.
Sometimes you don't get what you pay for. With some charter schools pocketing 1/3 of taxpayer money as profit and management fees, everyone loses - except the politically-connected charter school owners. We shouldn't be asked to subsidize these for-profit schools with taxpayer money.
I don't have all the answers. But I know that common-sense tells us charter schools just aren't worth the price in Ohio. Our public schools need a lot of help - but taxpayer subsidies for charter schools won't solve these community problems.Get involved today at www.siferdforcongress.com