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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Urban charters produce more brains for the buck

Urban charter schools use "fewer dollars to achieve better outcomes" than traditional public schools enrolling similar students, concludes a report from the University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform. Charter school students in nine cities earn higher reading and math scores for every $1,000 spent, can expect higher lifetime earnings.


Charter students on a field trip in Camden, N.J.

Researchers studied charters in Camden (NJ), Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Orleans, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington, DC.


"Charter schools receive less funding per pupil compared to traditional public schools (TPS)," but "use their funding more efficiently, achieving better short- and long-term outcomes per dollar invested," the report states.


Charter schools show the highest cost effectiveness in Indianapolis and Camden. The productivity gap is smallest in Houston.


Charter enrollment is continuing to grow in the post-pandemic era, especially in choice-friendly states, reports Naaz Modan on K-12 Dive. Traditional public schools are losing students almost everywhere.


Portland, Oregon teachers are on strike. I think it's a high-risk strategy: The district has seen enrollment decline by 17 percent in the last five years, almost all at the elementary level. "Schools were closed for 18 months, which is one of the longest closures in the country, and parents had a long time to figure out how they were going to educate their children," freelancer Rachel Saslow tells Oregon Public Radio. If the district is the unreliable choice, enrollment -- and revenue -- will keep falling and it won't need as many teachers.

1 comentário


Richard Rider
Richard Rider
03 de nov. de 2023

Perhaps the biggest single advantage charter schools have is that -- according to Bing -- only 11% are unionized. Based on my experience with CA public schools, I think a direct correlation can be found between the amount and strength of teacher unionization and the academic student outcomes. Of course, almost NO private schools are unionized.

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