To the Editor: BG school board limited by state
Written by Lee Hakel, Ellen Scholl, Eric Myers, Steve Cernkovich and Paul Walker   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:11
The Bowling Green School District must work within the parameters laid out by Governor Kasich and the Ohio State Legislature. These include the constraints of reduced funding and unrealistic, unneeded, and unfunded mandates.
In 1997 and four times since, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the current funding of public schools in Ohio is unconstitutional. But the Legislature still has not corrected this situation. Instead, they have siphoned millions of dollars from public schools to new charter schools that lack the accountability, transparency, standards, and achievement of public schools.
Some non-public schools do a wonderful job of educating students, but it is only fair that all schools, public and non-public, meet the same standards, open their books to the public, and disclose their funding sources, owners and management. For example, one nationwide organization, K-12 Inc., took in $81,591,503.56 Ohio tax dollars in 2012. The K-12 Inc. CEO was paid $19 million from 2009-2013 in compensation, plus millions in company stocks. But according to the 2012-2013 Ohio report card, the K-12 Inc. four-year graduation rate was 41.6 percent. The 2012-13 BG high school graduation rate, by comparison, was 95.5 percent.
State audits of charter schools uncovered $24.7 million in fraud, none of which will be recovered because the six-year statute of limitations was reached.  Those dollars could have paid for 300 school buses, restored 400 teaching positions, or purchased 48,000 computers.
The Ohio Legislature should support public schools with funding that meets the constitutional test, and reward the educational excellence achieved despite significant cuts to faculty, supplies, transportation and maintenance.  
Please get involved with your public schools. Volunteer to read in elementary schools, come to athletic events, concerts, plays, special visiting days, or PTO meetings. Come and see what an excellent school system does. Calendars are at http://www.bgcs.k12.oh.us/Calendars.
Bowling Green School Board Members Lee Hakel, Ellen Scholl, Eric Myers, Steve Cernkovich and Paul Walker
 

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