Just Another Day In The Wild Wild West of Ohio Charterland

The Dispatch has an article chronicling the almost comical doings of the Imagine Columbus Primary Academy charter school.

Let's go down the list of shenanigans

six members who resigned in recent weeks amid ongoing concerns about a high-cost building lease, teacher turnover and adequate services for students.

Almost the entire board of the school resigned because they had so little control over the management company, thanks to Ohio's charter school laws that allow operators more power than the boards. So what's this lease issue that caused these resignations?

Board members complained that the $700,000 annual lease consumes too much of the school’s $1.3 million annual budget. According to the Franklin County auditor’s office, the building, at 4656 Heaton Rd., is valued at $1,164,600.

Schoolhouse Finance purchased the building in 2005 for $1.5 million and made $2.6 million worth of improvements, according to the auditor’s website. SchoolHouse sold the building in 2006 for $5.2 million to a real-estate investment trust, then leased it back from the trust to charge rent to the school.

That's not a school, that's a real estate scam designed to bilk tax payers. And if you need further proof there's this

The school opened in the 2013-14 school year, just months after another Imagine School that occupied the same building under a different sponsor was closed for poor academic performance.

Again, Ohio's ridiculous charter laws allows these for profit companies to sponsor shop, even after they have been closed down for terrible performance.

Why are the schools so terrible? Because so much money is being siphoned away with dodgy lease deals there was none left to spend on paying teachers

Sinoff said board members also tried to increase teacher salaries, concerned that low salaries of $30,000 a year were causing high turnover.

No wonder we're starting to see a number of charter schools teachers consider joining teachers unions. So what of this schools sponsor, the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center?

In an interview with The Dispatch hours before threatening to close the school, the education service center’s Lahoski said he was unaware of the board departures but he, too, wanted answers about how operators were spending the money they receive.

Providing so little oversight, the sponsor was totally unaware of the resignations, and only when the situation reached comically high levels of absurdity are they even beginning to think about closing the school.

So where is the Ohio Department of Education in all of this?

Ohio Department of Education spokesman John Charlton said the agency oversees the educational service center and other charter-school sponsors and encourages them to hold school operators accountable.

“If a school isn’t doing what they are supposed to, we want the sponsor to step in,” he said.

Passing the buck and ignoring the problem as always. Meanwhile 150 young children are not getting the education they deserve and that tax payers have paid for. It's just another day in the wild wild west of Ohio Charterland