PA: How Much Does Your District Pay in Charter Costs
|Yes, 502 districts is a lot.|
The document covers every school year from 2009-2010 through 2014-2015 for every single one of our 502 pubic school districts (yes, that is a high number, but that's another conversation). It shows how much money left the district to go to charters, broken down by nonspecial education students and special education students (the pay rate is different). I recommend that you browse on your own, but let me hit just a couple of points.
First of all, a bunch of my civilian friends looked at this and said, "How can our district be paying that much in charter costs when we don't have any charter schools here?" The answer is that all Pennsylvania students have access to cyber-charters. Not everybody gets that a cyber school is just another kind of charter-- a highly profitable one in Pennsylvania, where the pay rate for the charter has noting to do with the actual charter costs. Put another way, your district pays the same to send a child to a bricks-and-mortar charter with a real building and heat and light and live teachers in classrooms as it spends to send a child to a cyber school with a computer, an internet hookup, and remote teachers who handle hundreds of students at once.
You can use the data to see how PA charter costs have mushroomed. In 2009-2010, the total charter tuition bill was $805,621,738.88 (I'm dying to know what the 88 cents bought). But five years later, CURMUDGUCATION: PA: How Much Does Your District Pay in Charter Costs: