Xenia schools to invoice state department of education

By Scott Halasz - [email protected]

XENIA — The Xenia Community School District is joining several others across Ohio in an attempt to recoup funding that was given to charter schools.

The board of education Monday unanimously passed a resolution allowing treasurer Tracy Jarvis to invoice the state’s department of education for more than $9 million dollars — money that was taken away from Xenia from 2005-2015. In all, $13,312,065 in state and local funding was extracted from the school district and given to charter schools to support Xenia students who attend those schools.

Approximately $1 billion annually is taken from public schools annually to fund the charter school system.

According to Xenia officials, approximately $2,800 is provided by the state for each Xenia student (public or charter) and then approximately $8,700 is deducted for each charter student. Only 6.48 percent of Xenia’s students attend charter schools, while the charter schools receive 13.38 percent of the total state funding for Xenia, according to the resolution.

The difference is made up by taking money from the district’s general fund, leaving less money for other expenditures and programs.

“There’s a negative cash flow which eventually is going to lead to additional tax burdens,” Superintendent Denny Morrison said. “It’s an additional burden on the taxpayers.”

The Northmont Board of Education passed a similar resolution Dec. 7, joining school boards from Troy, Elyria, Parma and Logan-Hocking, all whom previously sought to invoice the state. All are unhappy with how the funding is calculated, especially given the much-publicized poor performance of charter schools.

Ohio charter schools’ academic reports indicate they are not better than and/or are lower than public schools, according to Xenia’s resolution. There have also been some legal issues regarding charter schools, including one bribery charge relating to a charter school that operated in Dayton until 2010.

“Obviously, lately you’ve seen about the fraud and corruption in charter schools,” Morrison said.

The resolution said the aforementioned fraud has made Ohio “the laughing stock throughout the nation” and that Ohio “has been dubbed as the ‘wild wild west’ in charter school funding and operations.

“If you look at the big picture, Xenia Community School District and our board of education has to deliver the education program to all school children that reside in the Xenia Community School District,” Morrison said. “(But) our board of education has no control of charter students.”

Yet the school board loses money each year because of charter students.

“It limits what we can do (program-wise),” Jarvis said.

Neither are optimistic the district will be reimbursed but Morrison said a message needs to be sent.

“We need to let them know for the future, what impact what they’re doing is having,” he said.

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.