Over $7 million from Milford EVSD has been diverted to charter schools

At the February 18, 2016 school board meeting, the board passed a resolution authorizing the Milford EVSD Treasurer to invoice the Ohio Department of Education a total of $7,757,643 for state and LOCAL funding that has been diverted to community/charter schools (collectively called “charter schools” in the rest of this article) from July 2001 to the present.

We of course have no expectation that this money will be paid; however, we want to call attention, both at the state and local levels, that significant funds are being moved from local school districts to charter schools. This money includes both state funds as well as your own local taxes.

Our local taxpayers entrust the Milford School District with their money – not unproven charter schools that do not have to follow state requirements or provide any level of transparency; many of which are FOR PROFIT entities; many of which have been proven to waste taxpayer funds through fraud and corruption; and as a whole, have demonstrated lower academic performance vs. public schools – especially a high-performing district such as Milford. In addition, our taxpayers rely on state funds to help offset their cost for educating our students – they do not expect our state funds to be diverted to charter schools instead. The Milford school board and administration believe our taxpayers have the right to know what is happening with this money – in amounts of up to $800,000 per year!

Because of “unfunded mandates” such as these, we must ask for more money from the community in order to educate our students effectively. There are dozens of unfunded mandates with which we must comply. These cost us money – and since no money is coming from the state to cover them, we must go to you, our taxpayers.

We are asking you to please take some time to understand what is going on here. YOUR MONEY is being used to fund FOR PROFIT institutions, which are NOT DELIVERING a solid education to their students. Many of them are WASTING money, or committing outright FRAUD – with your funds! Unless YOU stand up and tell our legislators you won’t stand for it any longer, this will continue. We need your help to take a strong stand and change this – to make sure YOUR money stays here, working for YOUR students.

Click here to read the Resolution
Click here to see the Invoice

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6 thoughts on “Over $7 million from Milford EVSD has been diverted to charter schools

  1. Pingback: Highlights from 2/18/16 school board meeting | Andrea Brady's Blog

  2. Andrea

    Surely this school board has much better things to than to concoct
    this tirade of barbs against charter schools. Every misdeed you report
    can also be alleged against traditional local school districts in Ohio as well.
    It’s all a result of big government corruption. And a claim on whose money is whose.

    Example: Since when does the money intended to educate children belong solely to
    the school districts for the districts’ use? It doesn’t. It’s money that attaches to a
    child for their education. But the unions and the districts see it instead as THEIR money.
    Disallowing any funds to follow the child in a choice of where to be educated. That would invite
    competition. That’s something traditional school districts could never tolerate due
    to their seniority based pay systems that render performance irrelevant.

    This country’s public education systems are in decline. It is a direct result of politicians using
    it as a means of revenue and power.

    The choice of where to go to school is an absolute right. Religious bigotry and racism must never
    enter the equation. The day education funds attach to the child is the day things will improve.

    Your invoice isn’t going anywhere. Perhaps those who sent their children to parochial schools
    should send you an invoice for the tuition they paid.

    • Tom, I was surprised to read your comments; I expected you to be infuriated with what is happening with charter schools, knowing how fiscally conservative you are. There are a number of different issues here. School choice is not what we are questioning. Without exception, school choice is a right. This also has nothing to do with race or religion.

      What’s happening right now has to do with public monies going to fund for-profit, unaccountable and poor-performing organizations, at the expense of public schools and their local taxpayers. For instance – K12, Inc., a for-profit corporation, runs the largest online public school in Ohio. They spend as much as an average brick-and-mortar school per student, even though they do not have facilities, transportation, and many other expenses – and mandates – public schools must cover. Where is that money going? Into the pockets of corporations. Yet the schools they manage are not even delivering a quality education. How does this add up? Lots of taxpayer money being spent but they are not delivering quality services … I don’t understand how that is encouraging competition or serving our taxpayers – and especially our students – in an appropriate manner.

      I’m not against charters (if done right), and I’m certainly not against competition. But competition must be fair and appropriate, and this is not: this is government supporting a corrupt and flawed system, transferring taxpayer funds to the pockets of a few for-profit corporations (and thus individuals), and hurting our public schools in the process.

      The whole idea of the money attaching to a child is good, but flawed as well. Even with some families choosing private schools, there is no way the local taxes Milford collects would cover the cost to educate the students we have enrolled, if we didn’t also get funds from the state. And that money is not “per student” – it’s for the system, and the system must determine the best way to spend it (while also covering the many mandates we must pay). It has NEVER been “here is $X per student, for every single student in your district.”

      State funds have been the same. Milford does not receive funding per student – we receive a set amount, that right now is less than what the state says it should be. We have been on the cap for a long time; hopefully we will some day be on the funding formula, if it stays, but we are not yet.

      Right now, when any student in our district chooses a charter school, whatever amount that charter has been approved for is taken from Milford’s coffers and transferred to that school. There is no accountability, no transparency as to what that money is being spent on … and as we know, the results are very poor. This is not money that was meant “for that student,” especially from the state, since we are not fully funded per student. And the money transferred to the charter may even be more than we spend on our own students – so there is no “per student amount” that has been set and agreed upon.

      I do agree with you that a certain amount of money – per every child, that can be taken with the child – makes a lot of sense. But it would have to be enough, and where would it come from? As stated, there is certainly not enough right now coming from local taxpayers – that is also evident from parochial schools. Public schools pay their transportation, and the state supports some of their expenses. Sometimes, the congregation also supports a portion of the school’s cost. Yet there is still a charge for students, and it can be hefty – more than what Milford is spending.

      Having a set amount per student would also make for an interesting accounting problem because of overhead. As you add incremental students, the cost per student will not be as much as average – until you reach a point where you need to add another classroom, and then, when you get enough incremental students, additional facilities. So it’s not as easy as expecting a certain $/student to cover all required costs – especially when things like busing are included.

      The net is, trying to set an amount per every individual child would cause expenses for every family to rise – whether it was paid locally or through state taxes. In addition, because school levies are not permitted to grow with inflation, we would still have to come back for additional levies … or change the system so taxes rise every year, or with property values, or something. Right now, we are on a set amount of funding for a given amount of years, that does not cover every student in the district (public + private), and which does not grow with inflation.

      As I stated about our invoice, we don’t expect it to go anywhere except, hopefully, to raise some awareness of what is happening. We are simply saying we believe charter schools – which are receiving significant public funds – should be held to the same standards as any public school… and if they are not, they should not be receiving public funds.

  3. Andrea

    Everyone is outraged by the waste and incompetance. But that’s what happens
    when people turn control over to politicians and their party. Corruption becomes commonplace.
    Accountability is non-existant. Costs increase out of control. And the money flows
    into the pockets of the special interest groups. I don’t think that will ever change.

    Maybe some day some enterprising school district will open a charter school of its own.
    That would shake things up a bit.

    T Cannon

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