Our partners at WOSU report that there’s no way for the public to track how the Columbus Education Commission is spending $500,000 in public funds.
The Columbus Education Commission is a group of 25 people appointed by the city’s mayor and charged with making recommendations about how to improve the city’s schools.
That has prompted speculation the commission could end up suggesting state legislators let Columbus adopt some of the same education changes underway in the Cleveland schools adopted under the framework of the Cleveland Plan.
The commission has spent about $250,000 so far, but good luck finding out where that money went, WOSU reports:
“We’re consulting with experts, and of course paying those experts to advise us. We are doing an extensive public outreach campaign, which includes not just websites and social media but also public meetings, focus groups, prepaid postcards, there’ll be some TV ads to make sure people know about the opportunity to provide comment and input.” [Commission head and former Chancellor of the Board of Regents Eric Fingerhut] said.
But there is no way for the public to track the spending. The city transferred the public money to the Columbus Chamber of Commerce group 2020, which sent it on to the education commission. Columbus 2020 did not respond to our request for a written budget, detailing spending. Columbus City council spokesman John Ivanic says an itemized accounting of the commission spending of public monies will come when the commission’s work is completed.