In early 2015 State Auditor David Yost unannounced attendance checks at 30 charter schools showed 25 percent of them have significant cases of under-attendance. Yost referred seven schools, and another nine with less severe attendance variations, to state education officials for review. In one case, none of the 95 enrolled students were in attendance during the visit. Six other schools with significant variations were missing between 34 percent and 83 percent of the students the state paid them to teach.
In June 2015 The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Ohio Department of Education had intentionally left F grades for e-schools out of key charter school evaluations.
Less than a month later, David Hansen,the school choice director at the Ohio Department of Education, resigned over the omissions.
Despite his resignation, those rigged charter school evaluations remained part of a federal grant application that ultimately won Ohio $71 million in federal charter school grant funds. The Washington Post joined Ohio newspapers questioning the wisdom of awarding the funds calling Ohio’s charter school program among the most troubled in the country.
All of this occurred under the leadership of Ohio Superintendent of Public Education Richard Ross. ProgressOhio had documented many of the questionable actions of Dr. Ross during his tenue and joined legislative and community leaders in calling for his resignation. In November 2015 Richard Ross announced his retirement.
Increasingly concerned over the lack of any official investigation into Ohio’s charter school data scrubbing, ProgressOhio officially asked Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien for a grand jury investigation and continues to call for immediate action.