New report highlights wasteful state spending on E-schools

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Our friends over at Innovation Ohio have released  damning report of E-Schools in Ohio. I highly recommend that you take some time and head over to their website and check out the report. I promise that you will not believe what you are reading. For example:

  • Of Ohio’s 7 state-wide E-schools (which account for 90% of all E-school enrollment), six are not even rated “effective” by the Ohio Department of Education.
  • 5 of the 7 have graduation rates worse than Cleveland Municipal Schools, which has the lowest graduation rate of all traditional school districts.
  • Far from “saving’ money, E-Schools actually cost the state twice as much per pupil as traditional public schools

Yikes! And that really is just the start.  The report does a great job connecting the dots between two very wealth Republican campaign contributers and the latest batch of changes being made to E-schools and removing any oversight from the state.  Any idea what $4 million dollars in campaign contributions will buy you in Ohio?

  • In the original budget proposal the Governor wanted to remove the cap on E-schools. Someone didn’t run this by David Brennan and his crew because doing so would remove the current monopoly they have on the E-school market.  So what happened?  Mr. Brennan’s friends in the House but the cap back in place after they pasted their version of the budget.
  • Gov. Kasich’s budget also removes a portion of the Ohio Revised Code that requires E-schools to spend a certain percentage on per-pupil instruction or face a fine.
  • It also doesn’t look like anytime soon either legislature will be taking up the task of approving the E-school standards that the State Board of Education recommended that have been sitting their waiting to be voted on for over either years now either.

On the campaign trail Candidate Kasich would commonly repeat how Ohio ranked 46th in the country when it came to putting money in the classroom. Meaning, too much money was being spent on administrative costs and not enough on instructional costs. E-schools seem to actually live up to this complaint though. According to state records it seems that E-schools on average are spending a third of what they should be spending on teacher salaries, instructional materials, computers, and software. In other words, they aren’t spending the money the state gives them on teaching children.

Which begs the questions, where did the other two thirds of the money go? According to the Innovation Ohio report it seems that of the seven all state E-schools almost a third of every dollar given to the schools were simply put on the books as profit.  Meaning, the money was never spent on anything. How’s that for efficiency?

School choice supporters have long stated that a child should not be hand cuffed by poor performing schools, and no one can argue that point. For the last ten years these supporters have been championing charter schools and E-schools here in Ohio to offer students options other than the traditional public school they might otherwise attend. We have discussed before the sub-par nature of charter schools in this state, but this report shines an even greater light onto the seedy and irresponsible nature of these E-schools. Every Ohioan that is concerned with the amount of spending in this State should first look at the huge amount of money that is being wasted by this administration on a sector of schools that is failing our children.  It might be a little different if these school did a better job of educating our children but when your school graduates less than 35% of its kids and you cost twice as much as a traditional public school it is high time we simply cut you loose.


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