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

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Memphis Gives Hundreds of Million$ to Corporate Charter Schools and Sues State for More Cash

After years of hemorhagic public spending on corporate reform charters, Shelby County Schools has just announced that it plans to sue the State of Tennessee some of the hundreds of million dollars that taxpayers have paid for the corporate welfare testing camps for the poor children of Memphis.  The saddest part of this is that the ALEC owned state legislature will probably send over more taxpayer cash to support the continuing corporatization of Memphis schools.

The planning document used to prepare for the elimination of Memphis City Schools stated clearly in 2012 that Shelby County was set to lose $212 million to charter schools over the next few years:

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. The majority of these enrollment shifts are projected to happen irrespective of the merger, and the increased cost of the system is not the “fault” of the district or charter schools. Although merged SCS will continue to be responsible for managing most of these costs, other operators will also contribute as participants who benefit from this overall system (p. 168).

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