"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Charter Schools Spend More on Administration and Less on Instruction

From Michigan State U.:
EAST LANSING, Mich. — While charter school advocates criticize public school bureaucracies as bloated and wasteful, it turns out that charters spend more on administration and less on instruction than traditional public schools, according to a new study led by a Michigan State University scholar.

The study, which examines school spending in Michigan, found that charter schools spend nearly $800 more per pupil on administration and $1,100 less on instruction, said David Arsen, MSU professor of education and lead researcher on the project. The study controls for factors such as funding levels, student enrollment and school location.

“Michigan’s traditional public school districts devote 60.5 percent of total expenditures to instruction, while charters devote only 47.4 percent,” the study says. “Charter schools spend less on both basic instruction and added-needs instruction, which includes special education, career-tech and adult education.”

The study doesn’t examine the reasons for the discrepancy in spending. But Arsen said it’s likely related to the fact that 84 percent of traditional public schools’ expenditures are related to personnel costs – mostly salaries and benefits – thus driving instructional costs up.

When it comes to administration costs, charter schools dedicated more than $500 per pupil to general administrative services such as paying organizations to run the school.

The study was co-authored by Yongmei Ni, a former MSU graduate student who’s now an assistant professor at the University of Utah.

The study was presented at the American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting and included in the occasional paper series by the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Here's the future of saving more money on instruction in urban chain gang charters like KIPP: it's called blended learning. An example is provided by hedge funder, Whitney Tilson, who is stirring interest among the Wall Street gangster investors who are looking for a sure thing.

The example below is from California's KIPP Empower, a K-4 chain gang that crams 28 kindergarten children into what looks like a motel room.
Half receive lessons, while half are plugged into computer screens for half the day. These children have an exploited TFA overseer, whose job 1 is to keep these children plugged in.

 Everybody wins, right?  More money for admin slots, as well as hardware and software vendors alike.  Library? what library?

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