Thursday, November 02, 2000

Charters will cost CPS $21 million

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Public Schools will lose $21 million in state education funds to 12 charter schools operating in the city, according to figures released Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Education.

        That figure is the highest for the six largest cities in the state, as Cincinnati has the largest charter school enrollment with 3,658 students.

        Yet the numbers are less than the district was anticipating, spokeswoman Jan Leslie said.

        “Other districts have been surprised by this, but we were expecting to lose $22 million,” Ms. Leslie said. “We have planned for this and we did charter three of our own charter schools to be competitive.”

        The $21 million is 5.6 percent of the district's $374 million budget. Cincinnati's total enrollment is 42,600, down from 44,200 last year.

        Charter schools receive public funding from the state but operate separately from local districts. They are run by nonprofit organizations.

        Cincinnati's Board of Education in January approved three new charter schools, making Cincinnati the first district in Ohio to create its own charter schools. Two of those schools, the East End Community Heritage School and the Lighthouse Community School, opened this year. The ISUS Trade and Technology Prep School has yet to open.


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