WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) decision to require the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to submit additional documentation and to seek federal approval before spending any of the $71 million in federal grant funds awarded to Ohio’s charter schools, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement:
“The fraud that some Ohio charter schools and state officials have engaged in is unacceptable and it’s our students that have paid the price. I’m grateful the U.S. Department of Education is taking steps to address this scandal and ensure that Ohio’s charter schools spend taxpayer dollars on students, not fraud and abuse.”
Last month, amidst reports that certain charter schools in Ohio are misspending taxpayer dollars and falsifying data, Brown led members of the Ohio delegation in a letter calling on ED to strengthen accountability and transparency for Ohio’s charter schools. The members of Congress asked ED Secretary Arne Duncan to clarify how ED ensured that falsified data was not used to evaluate an Ohio grant application and to take steps to ensure that the funding awarded to Ohio will be used appropriately.
In July, Brown introduced the Charter School Accountability Act – parts of which were included in the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act, legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Reauthorization Act. The bill would strengthen charter school accountability and transparency, prevent fraud, and increase community involvement.