Fedor Calls For Full State Audit Of E-school Attendance
Toledo lawmaker says latest reports of fraud demonstrate pattern of deception
March 04, 2016
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The lead Democratic member on the House education panel, State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), this week called for a full state attendance audit of online charter schools, following reports that an online charter school sponsored by the Ohio Council of Community Schools fraudulently accepted close to a million in taxpayer dollars for nonexistent students. 

“With yet another online charter school fraudulently inflating attendance numbers in order to pad its pockets with taxpayer money, a disturbing pattern of deception has been established that hurts not only the taxpayer but our children and their future,” said Fedor. “This latest instance is likely just the tip of the iceberg. We need to dive deep to uncover the full extent that online charter schools are swindling the public and betraying students and their families.” 

This marks the second time in under a year that a charter school sponsored by the Ohio Council of Community Schools has been embroiled in attendance data scrubbing resulting in the fraudulent overpayment of taxpayer dollars. 

In May of last year, Fedor and House Education Committee Chairman Bill Hayes (R-Harrison Township) were forwarded documents from an anonymous whistleblower showing what appeared to be an attendance scrubbing scheme at another online charter school sponsored by the Ohio Council of Community Schools. The documents indicated that the Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA), one of the latest e-schools in the state, received more state tax dollars by seemingly padding its rolls with chronically truant students.

“Like any school, online charter schools must provide students with a high-quality education that prepares them to succeed in the 21st century,” Fedor said at the time. “The e-school model values profits over student achievement, and tens of thousands of Ohio children are suffering as a consequence.” 

The same group that has a vested interest in OHVA – its sponsor, the Ohio Council of Community Schools – was permitted by the Ohio Department of Education’s then-charter chief, David Hansen, to conduct the “investigation,” with Hansen signing off on the findings. 

Hansen – husband to Gov. Kasich’s presidential campaign manager – later resigned after illegally omitting e-school scores from state charter school sponsor evaluations. 

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