May 7, 2022

Stephen Dyer: Follow the Money…

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How Ohio School Districts and Chart Schools spend their money tells you what they care about. Stephen Dyer breaks it down. 

Yesterday, I tried to sound the alarm about how Ohio Charter Schools shouldn’t be ignored, despite culture and voucher war focus this election year.

In order to reinforce the urgency of this, I thought I’d dig into how Ohio’s public and charter schools spend money. What you’ll notice is while Ohio’s public schools spend their money on kids, far more — and by far more, I mean nearly double the commitment — is spent on the adults in charters who don’t actually teach kids1.

Here’s the bottom line: If Ohio Charter Schools spent the same amount on administrative costs as Ohio’s public school districts, they would have at least an additional $142 million to spend on kids — roughly the total amount Parma City Schools spent last year.


As you can see, Ohio’s Charter Schools spend almost 1 in 4 of its dollars on non-instructional administrators2. Ohio’s public school districts spend about 1 in 8 on these non-instructional folks.

No Ohio school district spends as much on administrators as the average Ohio Charter School.

Let me say that again.

No Ohio school district spends as much on administrators as the average Ohio Charter School.


If charters spent on administrators what Ohio’s public schools spent, charters would have at least $142 million more to spend on instructional and support costs. That would mean they could be spending even more on instruction than school districts, but they choose instead to spend on administrators who don’t teach kids.

Read the full piece for more shocking details, like charters that spend more than half of their money on administrators.

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