To the editor:

The charter school industry is replete with concepts, conditions and practices that defy logic. A really bizarre practice in Ohio is funding online charters on the same basis as brick-and-mortar schools.

Online charters are cash cows for companies like the defunct ECOT, K12 Inc., etc. Online charters don’t typically provide such programs and services as:

• Transportation;
• Facilities;
• Food service;
• Athletics and co-curricular activities; and
• A variety of school personnel such as librarians, nurses, social workers, etc.

There are no state standards regarding teacher/student ratios for online charters. Reports from former online charter employees indicate some online teachers have up to 200 students.

Some Ohio public officials have expressed serious concerns about the funding formula for online charters, but efforts to address the matter have been ignored and/or delayed. Until Ohio officials figure out how to fund online charters, the amount paid to these charters should be cut in half.

School expenditure data collected by the Ohio Department of Education could be analyzed to demonstrate the need to reduce per student funding to online charters.

Sincerely,
William L. Phillis
Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding
www.ohiocoalition.org