One of the arguments against the Charter School Amendment is that it will de-fund education. The facts do not support this claim. More importantly, amendment opponents are only discussing one side of an equation.
It’s called a Balance Sheet
assets = liability + equity
Yes, if a student leaves a traditional school the local district will no longer receive state funding for this student. But the opposition fails to acknowledge that the corresponding “liability” (the cost of educating that child) is also removed from the balance sheet. Because the cost to educate that one child is greater than the amount that the state sends to the district, combined with the fact that the district will keep all of their local tax dollars; the end result is that they removed more liabilities (i.e. cost to educate) than they removed “assets” (state funding). This results in an overall improvement on their balance sheet and improved position relative to every other child in the district. They now have more money per student than they did before.
Don’t let anyone fool you – you must look at both sides of the equation.
Here’s an extremely simple example:
Before charter in district (100 students):
|State funding = 500,000 ($5000 for 100 students)||Cost of educating 100 students: $750,000|
|Local Funding = 500,000||Reserves = 250,000|
|Total assets = 1,000,000||Liabilities + Reserves = 1,000,000|
|Assets per student: $10,000|
After Charter enrolls 10 students from district:
|State funding = 450,000 ($5000 for 90 students)||Cost of educating 90 students: $675,000|
|Local Funding = 500,000||Reserves = 275,000|
|Total assets = 950,000||Liabilities + Reserves = 950,000|
|Assets per student: 10,555 (5.5% more per student after charter school)|