Un-Accountable Charters

There's so many things wrong with the elements of this story its hard to know where to begin, and even harder to understand why Republican lawmakers want to reduce an already weakened oversight system for charter schools

State payments to two charter schools will resume later this week, now that the state auditor's office has finally been able to complete audits.

The Auditors reports are due in a few weeks and we'll be sure to bring news of those findings to you. But back to the story of charter schools so messed up (and that's the best case scenario) that they can't perform basic accounting functions. The cost of such incompetence?

Teachers and other employees have gone without paychecks since the funds were cut off. Charter schools, which are public but run independent of districts, get most of their money from the state.

They may be public right now, but if HB153 passes, we'll see a proliferation of private schools receiving public money, with their accounts hidden from public view.

All three schools are sponsored by the Cleveland-based Ashe Culture Center, which is responsible for monitoring academics and finances.

Rainbow said the Arts Academies' relationship with Ashe had become "very strained" and they gave notice in January that they would seek a new sponsor.
The Education Department has been trying to take away Ashe's sponsorship authority since December 2009, mainly because of financial issues. The final decision will be up to the state school board after an independent hearing officer rules.

Audits are still under way at two other Ashe-sponsored schools -- Elite Academy of the Arts and Lion of Judah Academy, both in Cleveland -- that also were declared unauditable in November.

Ohio already has too many sponsors, and soon if changes are not made to HB153, even more - with the accounts hidden from public view inside of for-profit corporations. Only those who seek to profit from this undemocratic scheme are supporting it. As the Ohio Senate debates the budget bill, we'll have a clear view of just how many legislators the vampire squid tentacles have gripped.

The Columbus Dispatch has already been ensnared by the lobbyist for White Hat Management, the very person who helped the GOP House Majority write the current HB153 charter school wild west provisions.