Two Thirds Of Ohioans Support More Accountability For Charter Schools
PPP poll shows bipartisan support for new legislation

Columbus—According to a new poll released today by Public Policy Polling (PPP), 66% of Ohioans support legislation creating more accountability for public charter schools. Strengthening state law enjoys strong bipartisan support with 74% of Democrats, 62% of Independents and 60% of Republicans backing it.

“This poll shows Ohioans are deeply concerned about how this state’s for-profit charter schools are being run,” said Senator Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman). “Too many tax dollars are being wasted and too many students are falling through the cracks because of lax oversight.  Recent news reports have reinforced the urgent need for more accountability, especially for online charter schools.”

The Columbus Dispatch has reported that three online charter schools—Provost Academy, Lakewood Digital Academy and Akron Digital Academy—exaggerated their enrollment numbers, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars being overbilled to taxpayers.  In the case of Provost Academy, the school reported enrollment of 162 students, but in reality only 35 students were attending full-time.

Senator Schiavoni has introduced Senate Bill 298 to provide much needed accountability, transparency and uniform standards for online schools, also know as e-schools. The legislation, which includes recommendations from the State Auditor and the Ohio Department of Education, would require online schools to fully account for student attendance and the tax dollars they receive.

Senate Bill 298 is scheduled for a second hearing Tuesday (5/3) at 3:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. Recent editorials in the Columbus Dispatch, Akron Beacon Journal and Youngstown Vindicator have supported the legislation. 

Public Policy Polling surveyed 799 registered Ohio voters on April 26th and 27th.  The poll has a +/-3.2% margin of error.

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