about proposed funding levels for charter schools

Myrrha P. Satow, CEO and superintendent of EdVantages Inc., took issue with an April 1 Ohio Gadfly editorial concerning Gov. Strickland's proposals for funding charter schools.

The Fordham Institute's recent editorial analysis of Dayton charter school funding under Gov. Strickland's proposed funding fix, "Governor's proposal for charter-school funding a head scratcher," April 1, 2009, makes some very good points, but also provides some misleading data.

Attempting to demonstrate that "there are some serious charter school winners in the governor's plan, and some big-time losers," the editorial incorrectly stated that Trotwood Preparatory and Fitness Academy (TPFA) was among the "serious winners." This is not accurate. Our internal analysis of TPFA's funding for next year concluded that TPFA would lose over $400,000 under the new plan.

Fordham relied on numbers provided by ODE. We at EdVantages, TPFA's nonprofit EMO, were deeply perplexed by ODE's analysis and we believe it to be incorrect in many instances.

We applaud Fordham's statements regarding the gross inconsistencies in the plan, the potential incompetence of its designers, and the long- term consequences of a poorly designed system. However, State Rep. Clayton Luckie (D- Dayton) publicly singled out TPFA, in front of students, families, and staff, as evidence of the plan's supposed charter-friendliness. Printing inaccurate data has consequences.

Fordham did acknowledge that the numbers it so prominently displayed may be "simply inaccurate." Lacking confidence in the numbers, it makes little sense to make examples of specific schools.

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