State Auditor Dave Yost gives lawmakers his assessment of problems with Ohio charter schools

State Auditor Dave Yost described for state legislators a “broken system of governance” overseeing a charter-school system in Ohio that has faced increasing criticism both in the state and nationally.

Yost, a Republican, testified on Wednesday in an Education Committee hearing on House Republicans’ House Bill 2, proposing charter-school oversight reforms. He praised school choice as valuable for some students, but he said several recommendations would improve accountability and transparency, while better ensuring that charters are getting only the tax dollars they are entitled to.

Last fall, Yost’s office made surprise visits to 30 charter schools and found that attendance at half of them was significantly lower than what the schools were reporting to the state. It raised questions because the state relies on student counts reported by the schools to calculate aid that totals about $1 billion a year.

Current law, Yost said, could theoretically allow a charter school to get full funding for a student who attends just 10 days of classes in a year. The law says a charter school must withdraw a student only after he or she misses 105 consecutive unexcused hours of school — nearly a month.

(Read more at the Dispatch).