Saturday, March 17, 2012

Charter-school operators: Skimming cream, or spending wisely? | MLive.com

Charter-school operators: Skimming cream, or spending wisely? | MLive.com: "

Charter-school operators: Skimming cream, or spending wisely?

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2012, 8:31 AM
3770488_m.jpgMoney gripes: No matter who you talk to about charter schools, complaints about money quickly arise.
When Vickie Markavitch discusses the finances of traditional public schools vs. charter schools, she starts with a table of expenses, taking care to note the figures her analysis uses come from the state Senate Fiscal Agency, a reliable, nonpartisan source.
Then the superintendent of the Oakland Intermediate School District starts her rundown. The per-pupil state funding allowance is an average of what schools spend, she says, “and third grade doesn’t cost as much, high school needs more.” It’s also comprehensive for all programs, i.e., education plus co-curricular activities like band, athletics, etc., “which don’t come cheap.”
bridge-logo-for-mlive.jpgNews and Analysis from The Center for Michigan
Most charter schools in Michigan are K-8, where costs are lower. They tend to be small, cater to niches and don’t offer comprehensive education, Markavitch says. They serve fewer students with special needs, and the ones they serve tend to have less serious hurdles to overcome. It all adds up, Markavitch claims, to charters spending, on 

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