Ohio Charter Schools Ruin District Finances: Steal State and Local Taxes, Leave Behind Stranded Costs

McMaster University professor Henry Giroux warns that school privatization threatens an essential public good: “Public schools are at the center of the manufactured breakdown of the fabric of everyday life. They are under attack not because they are failing, but because they are public… Moreover, they symbolize the centrality of education as a right and public good…”


When we evaluate charter schools, I wonder why we rarely consider their fiscal impact on the public schools among which they are nested? I have never heard anybody in Ohio consider the overall impact of charter school expansion on access to education for the entire population of students across a particular community or across the state. Today in Ohio, people are talking about the value of charter schools because charter operators and sponsors—claiming the schools are broke—are asking for an extra $2,000 per pupil.

Usually arguments about the quality of public investment in charters are about whether charters do a good job as measured by test scores.  Proponents of charter schools typically want the public to evaluate charter schools and traditional public schools by comparing their test scores—despite considerable research over the years demonstrating that the results are, at best, relatively comparable.  Steve Dyer uses the test score yardstick in…

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