What is the bottom line when students switch to charter schools?

Recently the morning newspaper reported that the Clark County School District plans to create a job — costing $117,000 — whose purpose will be to slow the number of students bailing out of the district and opting to attend charter schools.

“When a child leaves the school district for a charter school, the state per-pupil funding and some local revenues that would have gone to Clark County departs as well,” the story explains.

Some local revenues, but not all. If the district unloads the entire expense of educating the departing student but retains some of the local revenue, how is that a drain?

Back in December the newspaper reported that the district issued a statement saying 1,400 more students enrolled in a charter school than projected, and this higher-than-expected charter school enrollment would cost the district $9 million in lost revenue.

According to CCSD, the district’s 2016-17 budget had per-pupil expenditures at $8,512, meaning the exit of 1,400 students would reduce spending by $11.9 million. Lose $9 million in revenue but cut spending by $11.9 million, sounds like a savings of $2.9 million.

Spending $117,000 to avoid saving $2.9 million? Where’s the logic in that?

“This is a position that is expected to raise money for the district by bringing children back in. It will pay for itself,” School Board member Carolyn Edwards was quoted as saying. “In essence, it’s not a cut, it’s actually an increase to the budget.”

Besides, what would the job entail? Cajoling? Badgering?


9 comments on “What is the bottom line when students switch to charter schools?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder (but not really) if charter schools spend money to increase their enrollments? Do they employ individuals whose function is to recruit students and their parents into those cheater schools? How much do they pay them I wonder? And is this cost (ultimately to taxpayers and public school students) to be commended?

    If charter schools were not recruiting students away from public schools, thereby costing public schools funding, maybe the public schools wouldn’t see a need to protect what they have.

    Charter schools are therefore costing taxpayers money which I would think might be worthy of at least some mild rebuke here.

  2. If all else fails, read the instructions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My subscription didn’t come with instructions so don’t blame me.

  4. Steve says:

    “cheater schools”

  5. Rincon says:

    Anyone who runs a business understands fixed vs variable costs. A loss of students means a loss of income, but it’s unlikely that most school districts have the ability to efficiently offset that loss of income by quickly selling a school building here or there at no loss, and to shuffle remaining students around at zero cost.

    As for the great mystery of how this $117,000 employee can possibly accomplish anything, perhaps this person will do what private businesses do – a market analysis, i.e., find out why pupils are leaving and then work to eliminate the causes of the exodus.

  6. Bill says:

    Public education today is a vast bureaucratic monopoly dedicated to perpetuating itself and has historically defended its monopoly from incursions. They mean well but in the final analysis it is not about product but process. Want to improve education? Get rid of professional educators and colleges of education. Go back to teaching not socialization.

  7. Public schools do not make profits. For every student lost, they steal get revenue.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Charter schools do nothing but steal money from the taxpayer.

    “Charter schools that never opened or that have opened then closed between 2006 and 2014 have cost the federal government almost $505 million, according to a recent report.

    The Network for Public Education, an advocacy group, released a report Friday that found more than 35 percent of charter schools never opened or ended up closing down in that time frame, The Washington Post reported. Those schools received more than a half of $1 billion, or 28 percent, of the funding from the federal Charter School Program (CSP). ”

    Never understood why anyone not on their payroll would advocate for them.

  9. Bill says:

    Let’s see. The monopolistic public education system is creating another bureaucrat whose purpose will be to slow the number of students bailing out of the district and opting to attend charter schools. Maybe the School Board, as fiduciaries for he public money, should pose the question to themselves, “Why are students leaving the Public Education System and opting for Charter Schools”?

    I know several firms that will do a comprehensive survey of hat question for $117,000 or less and they won’t ask for heath care, a Pers contribution or any other benefit.

    The fact is that the idea of charter schools is good. Like public schools, some are better than others. Unlike public schools, the bad ones run by bad or incompetent people fail and unlike public schools do not go on in perpetuity. he good ones succeed and their product is often superior.

    You might want to look at:

    A recent study released by researchers at the University of Arkansas, A Good Investment: The Updated Productivity of Public Charter Schools in Eight U.S. Cities, provides key insights into cost-effectiveness and return-on-investment comparisons across public charter and traditional public schools.

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