The Cost of Charter and Cyber Charter Schools

by Robert Bruchak on February 4, 2013

PDECapLogoMany legislators continue to push for expansion of charter schools even though funding continues to drain public schools.  As taxpayers and parents, we hear that school choice is positive and healthy competition for public schools.  What we are not hearing is how expensive choice is and how it depletes funding in public schools leaving students with fewer resources and opportunities.  Choice is expensive.

Did you know for every child that leaves Salisbury Township School District to attend a charter or cyber charter school the district must pay an annual tuition amount of $11,835.45?  The tuition rate more than doubles for special education students, jumping to $24,902.20.

Did you know that last year the District spent $517,381 in tuition for charter and cyber charter school students?  That equates to 1.2 mills of local taxpayer money going to charter and cyber charter schools.

Did you know Salisbury must transport students to any charter school located within the district and up to 10 miles outside the district’s border?  Currently, Salisbury is transporting students to six different charter schools.  This will cost the district approximately $233,000 this school year. While the state will reimburse the district for 25% of the amount, Salisbury taxpayers will pay the remainder.

Did you know that some charter and cyber charter schools are “for profit”?  There are individuals making a significant profit using taxpayer money.

Charter and cyber charter schools are “double dipping” the system for retirement and social security reimbursement.  These reimbursements are calculated in the reimbursement formula to determine what Salisbury will pay for tuition while charter and cyber charter schools are also reimbursed for retirement and social security by the state.  Last year, “double dipping” cost Salisbury approximately $28,010 in retirement and $24,619 in social security.

Although some may consider choice to be good, it does come at a financial cost to the district, requiring us to allocate budgetary resources to other schools outside the district.  Consider contacting your state legislators about the inadequacies of charter and cyber charter school funding.

Hon. Justin Simmons
21 N. Main Street
Unit 9
Coopersburg, PA 18036
Phone: 610-282-3901
Fax: 610-282-3955
Email: jsimmons@pahousegop.com
Web Site: www.repsimmons.com

Hon. Daniel McNeill
7 West Fourth Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: 610-882-1510
Fax: 610-861-2112
Email: dmcneill@pahouse.net
Web Site: www.pahouse.com/McNeill

Hon. Ryan Mackenzie
1245 Chestnut Street
Unit 5
Emmaus, PA 18049-1919
Phone: 610-965-9933
Fax: 610-965-9174
Email: rmackenzie@pahousegop.com
Web Site: www.repmackenzie.com

Sen. Bob Mensch
Senate Box 203024
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3024
or
1245 Chestnut Street
Unit 5
Emmaus, PA 18049-1919
Phone: 610-965-1466
Fax: 610-967-2586
Email: bmensch@pasen.gov
Web Site: http://senatormensch.com

Previous post:

Next post: