With a nearly $900 million budget shortfall, Oklahoma lawmakers want accountability for every penny. But within the coffers of private charter school management companies are millions of dollars that lawmakers can't see.
Senator Jason Smalley wants to know exactly how much schools are spending on administration. He filed a bill to find out, because right now he said it’s not clear.
“Are all the individuals that should be classified as administration costs, actually being reported as that?” he asked. “I think that’s what the greater conversation is.”
There is a debate nationwide over the effectiveness of online education, and Oklahoma isn’t immune to it. Here, enrollment in virtual schools is booming, but the schools are performing poorly. There are also questions about the companies that run these schools and their financial practices.
Opponents to online education say the state should stop supporting virtual schools until there’s more information about them. But, others say they are vital to certain types of students.
Throughout middle school, Toby Carter’s teachers struggled to keep him challenged.