Thursday, July 23, 2015

IBO analysis fails to mention important differentials in charter funding

A new IBO report claims the funding advantage per student of  co-located charters compared to NYC public schools disappeared last year. Yet this conclusion ignores many facts.

As the report points out,  the state has added funds for charters next year -- $250 more per student --  and additional increases of $100 in 2015-2016 and $150 in 2016-2017 were approved.

Moreover,  starting last year the city had to pay all new and expanding charters a subsidy for rent of $2,775 per student for private space if they don't give them space in the public schools. The amount will increase next year to $2,805 .

Meanwhile, the city paid  $11,000 per student to rent Success Academy three private facilities last  year alone.
"The stunning sum for this coming school year will nearly double the amount the city pays for a typical charter school student's entire annual education, set by state law at $13,527, to above $24,000. The city has set aside $5.4 million a year for the next four years to pay the rent for the three schools."
Also, NYC charters are NOT subject to fair student funding,  unlike DOE public schools.  Since on average charters enroll fewer English Language Learners and students with disabilities , that means they are getting more proportionally per student than most NYC public schools based on student need.

Finally, the IBO still did not include in their analysis the cost of busing, even though they have admitted in the past  that charter students are twice as likely to receive free busing from the city.  About 20% of charter school students get free busing, compared to  9% of public school kids. 

Of course these inequities do not touch on the even larger disparities in private funding.  Studies show that many NYC charters receive substantially more in privately raised funds, up to $4000 per pupil or more.

Success Academy chain is estimated to have a surplus of at least $30 million, and at their annual spring fundraiser raised $9.3 million in one night.   In  short, the inequities in funding are likely to grow larger in future years if current trends continue.

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