Ohio is extraordinarily generous to religious schools and charter schools. It even awards bonuses to failing charters schools! 

Under current state law, millions of dollars will flow to failing charters. Ohio’s charter industry is drawing money away from real public schools, and most charters perform worse than real public schools. So now the state hopes to attract out-of-state charter chains and farm their taxpayer dollars out to corporations.

The charter-school bonus program was urged by Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration to reward the state’s good charters and encourage quality charter chains elsewhere to expand to Ohio. It earmarked $30 million per fiscal year in Ohio Lottery profits – $60 million overall – for the charter school bonuses.

For Ohio charter schools that qualify, the budget allots a bonus of up to $1,750 for each pupil classified as economically disadvantaged and up to $1,000 per pupil for all others.

The money was supposed to go only to “quality” charters. Unfortunately, language intended to attract strong out-of-state charter chains to open in Ohio — by offering the same bonuses to Ohio schools run by operators with good-performing schools in other states — backfired by allowing operators of dozens of failing and poor Ohio charters to ask for millions under the same provision.

The budget was framed with the advice of the DC-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Who will save the children of Ohio from its failing charter schools?