The myths of cyber schools

A May 11 article on cyber schools in the Daily Local repeats claims that cyber schools are a major drain on taxpayers (though with a strong rebuttal from cyber school advocates), in regard to the Coatesville school districts. While the article claims that cyber schools represent “one of the fastest growing items in Coatesville Area’s budget“, that is because cyber schools did not exist seven years ago. Cyber schools remain a small percentage (0.49%) of overall school spending. Indeed, the article cites the $3.56 million paid by Coatesville to cyber schools over six years. Last year (2006-07) alone, the district spent: $7 million for administration, $8 million for student transportation, $11 million for operation and administration of plant, and a whopping $22 million for construction and debt (a 156% increase in six years).

Additionally, based on the numbers put out by the bill’s sponsors, HB 446 would save Coatesville taxpayers a total of $16 per homeowner in property taxes—assuming no children return to the district’s schools as cyber school funding is reduced. Given the discrepancy between what Coatesville district spends per-pupil ($16,478) and what they pay for cyber school students ($10,078 for non-special education students), cyber schools appear to be saving Coatesville taxpayers a significant amount of money.

Read more on the Edifice Complex.