At its March 21 meeting, the Westlake Board of Education passed a resolution to invoice the State of Ohio for $2.6 million in what it says is excess funding the state sends to charter schools at the expense of local school districts.
Westlake Schools CFO/Treasurer Mark C. Pepera sent an invoice to the Ohio Department of Education for state funding the district has lost to charter schools since fiscal year 2003. The resolution indicates the state of Ohio fails to fully fund the state formula student allocation in Westlake because funds are pulled to support local charter schools.
The State of Ohio currently provides $667 per student for a Westlake public school student, but $5,800 per student for a charter school student – funds that are pulled from the Westlake City School District’s operating budget.
Board President Carol Winter sent letters to Ohio Governor John Kasich, Sen. Tom Patton, Rep. Nan Baker, Ohio Senate President Sen. Keith Faber, Ohio Speaker of the House Rep. Cliff Rosenberger and Ohio Department of Education Interim Superintendent Dr. Lonny Rivera. In those letters she indicates that boards of education have “no control over the financial spending or the academic outcomes for the residential students attending charter schools.”
“The resolution demands reimbursement form the State of Ohio for charter school deductions in excess of state funding receives at the expense of the students it educates,” Winter says. “The Board of Education urges the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly to stop the unjust system of funding charter schools, which penalize all local public school students in the state.”