Bill Phillis, former deputy Commissioner of Education in Ihio, runs the Equity and Adequacy Coalition.

Highway robbery is legal in the Ohio charter industry

The charter industry has been largely deregulated from the beginning. The charter promoters and operators have had unrestrained freedom to use public money recklessly and dumb down educational opportunities for children. This industry is not a part of the common school system but it is a bloated parasite extracting valuable resources from the public system.

It is legal or not illegal in Ohio’s charter industry:

For a for-profit charter school company to hold title to real estate, furniture, equipment and other tangible assets that were purchased with public money
For a charter school board to pay a company allied with their for-profit management company $700,000 per year rent to house 150 students
For a charter school of 600 students to pay $185,000 in year for marketing and promotion

For an online charter school operator to siphon off funds set aside to educate students to operate other private companies that personally benefit the charter operator

For a charter operation to help subsidize a worldwide religious movement

For charter school board members to serve without being a citizen of the United States

For non-profit charter sponsors and charter school boards to pay outrageously high salaries and benefits that would not be tolerated in the public common school system

For a person with no training or experience in education to operate a charter school

For the presence of nepotism and contractual relationships that would not be tolerated in the public common school system

For a charter operator to buy legislation via obscene levels of political contributions

For charters to spend unlimited amounts of funds on marketing and promotion

For charter operators to operate in the dark and be shielded from public exposure regarding illegal activities
The list goes on and on…

Children in public school districts are being robbed of educational opportunities by the transfer of more than $7 billion from districts to the failed charter industry over the past 15 years; yet, state officials allow this fraud on the public to go on and on and on.

Under pressure from the public, the 131st General Assembly passed legislation that will rein in some of the abuse now authorized by law. But big money from the charter industry, ineptitude of the Ohio Department of Education and the $71 million federal grant to expand charters will work together to fatten this failed industry.

The only hope is for the public common school community and advocates to band together to demand the end of this debacle that has utterly failed.

William Phillis
Ohio E & A

Ohio E & A | 100 S. 3rd Street | Columbus | OH | 43215