Not the School Districts’ money

Lowman Henry on the attacks on cyber schools, responding to the same Patriot News article that we did yesterday.

Educrats refer to funding for cyber charter schools as a “cost” to the government-run school district and use that as a springboard to complain about the lost revenue. What they fail to understand is that the money that goes to pay for cyber charter schools is not theirs to “lose,” but rather the parent’s (taxpayers’) money to spend. …

This mindset was on display recently in the Middletown School District of Dauphin County where the district’s business director, David Franklin, told the Harrisburg Patriot-News: “I don’t think that most residents realize the cost of educating these (cyber charter) students.” Question for Mr. Franklin: Do most residents of your school district realize the cost of the education you provide? My bet is that they do not. Further, I am willing to bet the cyber charter school gets the job done, and done better, at less cost.

As we pointed out yesterday, Middletown spent $12,300 per child, while the students from the district going to cyber schools got about $8,000. Middletown spent about $1,800 per-pupil for construction and debt, higher than the state average both in dollar amount and as a percent of spending. But that should be surprising – our report Edifice Complex found that spending on construction wasn’t linked to district size or to growth, but to revenue. Districts that had more spent a higher percentage on construction.