When free-enterprise solutions are unleashed in a competitive environment controlled by local parental choice not remote bureaucratic dictates, both students and taxpayers win.
A charter school in Southeastern North Carolina has a 15-year time-tested model for operating a public school for less money yet producing superior academic results with very high parent satisfaction among a diverse student body. For 73% of the funds of traditional government schools, this charter school with a diverse student body scores in the top 8% of all schools in the state.
The raw data and sources are below.
Finances of a Public Charter School vs. Public Government-Run School District
The following data are from independent audited financial statements of June 30, 2013 prepared for the state’s Local Government Commission. A student attending public Charter Day School is seen to receive only 73% of the funding on a per-pupil basis as does a student in the surrounding traditional county district school.
|Charter Day School Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013|
Note (2) Page 56
|Brunswick County BOE CAFR for fiscal year ended June 30, 2013|
Note (3) Page 5
Academics of a Public Charter School vs. Public Government-Run School District
According to End-of-Grade (EOG) test scores for 2014 released by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Charter Day School (CDS) is the highest scoring school in the County. Ranked on a state-wide basis using EOG scores among all open-enrollment public elementary schools, Charter Day School is 75th out of 1033 schools. When ranked as a school district, CDS ranks 5th out of 139 districts across the state. Student enrollment reflected by the above test results consists of 37% economically disadvantaged students, 24% minority, and 7.5% students with disabilities and another 3% with accommodations. These data are available from the state’s web site at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/reporting/
Overhead Rates of a Public Charter School vs. Public Government-Run School District
From the two LGC audits referenced above, the general and administrative expenses (“Support Services”) can be calculated. For the Brunswick district on Page 6, the percentage calculates to 25.8%. For Charter Day School on Page 14, the percentage calculates to 23.6%. It should be noted that in this 2013 year there were extensive expansion activities undertaken which required more administrative support. Prior years were in the 19% to 21% range.
Higher scores at lower cost with less overhead can be achieved when skilled management is given the latitude to respond appropriately to the educational needs of the students given the funding restraints imposed upon the school.
When free-enterprise solutions are unleashed in a competitive environment controlled by local parental choice not remote bureaucratic dictates, both students and taxpayers win!