Charter Schools

Philly School District Denies Children Access to Charter Schools, Because They Want the Money

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Charter schools in Philadelphia receive $8,500 from the school district for each student enrolled with them ($22,000 for students with special needs). It's a form of backpacking, where the money government is supposed to spend on students follows those students from school to school.

An inability to accurately project costs or budget, however, coupled with the popularity of charter schools, has left Philadelphia's school district looking to curb charter school enrollment in lieu of prioritizing spending to put students first.

The School Reform Commission (SRC), which actually governs the Philadelphia school district, unilaterally set an enrollment cap for charter schools, something at least one charter school is arguing in a lawsuit deprives them of due process. That case has now reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Via the PA Independent:

West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School requested a preliminary injunction to prevent the school district from taking action against the school. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted that last week, moving the case forward.

The outcome could be relevant to the entire charter sector in Pennsylvania.

"The implications are potentially huge because it deals with the constitutionality of the SRC to suspend rules for charter schools," said Bob O'Donnell, lead attorney for the plaintiff.

If the district wins, he said, it could open up the possibility of other school districts across the commonwealth seeking the same authority to control enrollment and therefore the cost of students attending charter schools.

Sounds like the district is putting its revenue stream ahead of children's interest, exactly what anti-choice advocates accuse proponents of school reform of doing.

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  1. You mean that a school system is putting its own interests above those of the students? I think I’ll make a shocked face in art class. It’s been a while since educrats even pretended to do anything else.

  2. FUCK YOU, SQUIRRELS!

  3. Getting more money for special needs kids is definitely a good precaution, as otherwise charters generally want the same amount per student while excluding the very expensive special needs kids.

  4. Charter schools in Philadelphia receive $8,500 from the school district for each student enrolled with them ($22,000 for students with special needs). It’s a form of backpacking, where the money government is supposed to spend on students follows those students from school to school.

    Again, this is where school systems are hoisted by their own retard.

    Schools claimed that they spent $8500 (or whatever any school district claimed) per student, when they did not. So when the Charter concept came about, the logical response was, “Well, we’re taking this student out of the pot, so you don’t need the $8,500, riiiiiiiight?” Wrong.

    Schools don’t spend $8,500 per student. They spend eleventy billion dollars on the school system, and if you divide that by the number of students enrolled and you come up with a figure of $8500 per student.

    When a student leaves, and reduces the student population by .3%, do all school staff get a .3% reduction in salary and benefits? Fuck no, they’re paid the same, and in fact, get a big fat raise.

    1. In past stories on this subject the charter schools have been paid significantly less per student than the district is sending to the regular schools (on a per student basis). Theoretically the district should be saving money by sending more kids to charter schools.

      Unions hate it though, because they get less of those charter teachers paying dues. And it does cause headaches when you only have 3 months to plan your school year at a public school – you never know when enough 1st graders will opt out and go to a charter school leaving you with an extra classroom.

      1. Somewhere the worls’s smallest violin is playing a mournful tune.

  5. Can’t they just send the excess students home to Bel Air?

  6. The entire Philly district is fucked up. Check out Choice Media’s recent webcast about them: http://youtu.be/raJhi5_5dCA

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