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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shelby County Schools Slashing, But Charter Plans Remain Untouched and Invisible

The Gates Plan for Memphis schools is proving to be more expensive than Bill fans ever dreamed, and apparently the superintendents of city and county plan to push forward without public knowledge or discussion among themselves, preferring instead to present a phony-baloney budget to the County Commission that they know will not survive.   Apparently, the Board is not eager to take responsibility for increasing class sizes or for slashing employees, benefits, libraries, etc.:
Despite a proposed 170 central office employee layoffs, five school closings, changes in the teacher-pupil ratios in the schools, a reduction in the district’s contribution to employee health insurance premiums and other cost-cutting measures, however, a preliminary 2014 general fund budget for the unified district was still short by $83 million.
Meanwhile, no one at the School Board is talking about the primary reason there is a projected deficit of $200 million.  If the local news media were interested in finding out, it on page 168 of the Transition Commission's Report from 2012.  This is what happens when 20 percent of the the system's students are turned over to corporate apartheid charter schools to be psychologically brutalized in the name of equal education.

Cost Management of Enrollment Shifts
A system with multiple school operators (e.g. District, ASD and charter schools) inherently costs more to operate due to loss of scale with fixed costs being allocated across a smaller volume of students. This multi-operator environment is in place today and is projected to expand irrespective of the merger. To date, the districts have found creative ways to manage the increased costs of the existing multi-operator system (e.g. cutting or shifting 400+ positions out of the General Fund to right-size staff). However, with the projected share of students in non-district operated schools expanding rapidly in the next few years—from approximately 4% in FY2012 to 19% by FY2016 (equivalent to approximately $212M of revenues shifted to charter schools and the ASD in FY2016)—it is critical to implement strategic cost management to ensure each pathway in the Multiple Achievement Paths model is financially equitable to students.

1 comment:

  1. Check this out. There's a new blogger who can do the leg work of charter school finance deals. The writer has extensive experience in dissecting corporate finances and charter school bonds. The title of the blog is "Charter School Finance Footnoted.
    Keeping an eye on what charter schools tell their investors but not the rest of us."