A $715 million experiment

The Youngstown Vindicator echoes some of the issues we highlighted in a weekend guest column - CHARTER SCHOOLS AND OUR TAX DOLLARS.

In an article titled "State continues to blindly shift funding to charter schools"

The salaries of public school teachers and administrators are readily available, most notably on the website of the Buckeye Institute, which lists every Ohio public school employee by name and salary. But good luck finding a data base that provides the same insight into charter operations. And Ohio taxpayers can only dream of knowing how much of their $74 million that White Hat collects will end up as profit for owner David Brenner, a longtime proponent of charter schools and a financial supporter of politicians who share his view.

Atty. Charles R. Saxbe, who represents White Hat in a lawsuit brought by some of its charter school boards, said public funds become private once they enter White Hat’s accounts.

Charter schools were first sold to Ohio voters as an experiment. The results of that experiment are not in, but the General Assembly continues to increase funding for charter schools. What was a $51 million experiment in 2000 has ballooned to a $715 million experiment in 2011. While charter schools get an ever big bite out of the education pie in Ohio, funding for public schools, adjusted for inflation, has flat-lined.

Millions of dollars are invested in promoting this failed experiment, because many millions more dollars are at stake in profits.