Millions Wasted As Grant Money Goes to Closed Ohio Charter Schools

Another day, another report on how Ohio's charter schools are an academic and financial disaster for the state, its students and tax payers. This report comes from Innovation Ohio and is titled "BELLY UP: A REVIEW OF FEDERAL CHARTER SCHOOL PROGRAM GRANTS". The tag line speaks for itself:

How the U.S. Department of Education has given money hand-over-fist to Ohio charter schools that have closed and sometimes never even opened

From the report

Our latest analysis of the performance of Ohio Charter schools that have received federal Charter School Program (CSP) grants finds a staggering high rate of failure. At least 108 of the 292 charter schools that have received federal CSP funding since the 2006-07 school year have either closed or never opened.

CSP grants are geared toward the development and expansion of new charter schools, which can be a high-risk proposition. The 292 Ohio charter schools received $99.6 million in federal aid. $30 million went to the 108 schools that either closed or never opened.

Among our other findings:

  • Of those that failed, at least 26 Ohio charter schools that received nearly $4 million in federal CSP funding apparently never even opened and there are no available records to indicate that these public funds were returned;

  • The charter schools that have received CSP funding and received State Report Card grades in the 2014-2015 school year had a median Performance Index score that was lower than all but 15 Ohio school districts and would have been graded as a D.