This just in from ProPublica’s Heather Vogell:

With a frozen state budget and funding cut to most school district, Ohio’s Education Department  paid Capitol High, a charter run by for-profit Edison Learning, $1.4 million in taxpayer dollars for no-show students–most of whom are the neediest and least reliable of all.

In fact, ProPublica’s review of 38 days of Capitol High’s records from late March to May found that:

  • One room was filled with empty chairs facing 25 blank computer screens;
  • Three students sat in a science lab;
  • Nine students sat in an unlit classroom, including one kid who was sound asleep.


  • Only three of the 170 students attended the required 5  hours one day in May;
  • Six students skipped 22  days or more straight with no excused absences;
  • Two students were missing for the entire 38-day period.

Nevertheless, this per-student funded charter got away with billing the state for teaching the equivalent of 171 full-time students, hence the $1.4 million pay-out.

Keeping that in mind and as you continue to pay your taxes, try to wrap your head around the fact that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continues to champion school choice as a way to lower absenteeism and dropout rates.

P.S. In September, DeVos’s Department of Education awarded $250 million in charter grants to states and charter management organizations/agencies that help fund the building of new charter schools…