Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lorain bunch keeps the heat on charters

Well, those feisty Lorain County public school district superintendents are at it again, blowing the whistle this time on how much money is spent on charter schools’ administrators compared to what is spent on their public school district counterparts.

Citing statistics from the Ohio Department of Education, the Lorain bunch said per pupil expenditures for public districts is $10,110. That compares to $10,165 for charter schools.

The average expenditure per pupil for charter e-schools is $8,027, so basically it would appear that we save only about $2,000 per pupil if we don’t put the kids inside a bricks-and-mortar facility.

Anyway, the administrative expenditure per pupil in public school districts is 12.69 percent of $10,110 or $1,277, while the number for charter schools is 26.2 percent of $10,165 or $2,663.

Here is a breakdown on the rest of the budget percentages with public school districts listed first and charter schools second (numbers have been rounded):

–Building operations per pupil – 20 percent, 12 percent.

–Staff support per pupil – 2 percent, 5 percent.

–Pupil support per pupil – 9 percent, 4 percent.

–Instructional per pupil – 56 percent, 53 percent.

This comes on the heels of a memo the Lorain superintendents distributed in October and was featured in this space that questions why charter schools have been given a pass on achieving academic standards while siphoning money from the state’s public school systems, which for the most part are doing the job.

Your favorite public school district – and there are a lot of good ones that serve the readers of this publication – are charged with educating all students. That means they are dealing with students who are developmentally disabled or who are autistic or who hail from homes that feature abusive and neglectful parents. And some students, because our current economy is attracting their parents, don’t speak English.

Public schools also are trying to maintain decorum in the hallways and secure the children’s safety while some parents nitpick administrators on dress codes. And, no, hoodies covering faces are not permitted. In the meantime schools are supposed to monitor the kids’ “sexting” and online bullying.

Our school districts are cutting their budgets, if you haven’t noticed, while wondering what happened to their allies in Columbus. It seems they have few these days, especially when you take into account the current Ohio Legislature, which is bent on funding the charters.

You could do something.

You could write the governor or your state senator or representative to let them know it’s time to begin respecting our public schools again so we can make them better rather than diminishing their ability to teach the kids. Only our future is at stake.

OK, this will be my last column in the Bargain Hunter because the world will end on Dec. 21, which should put some kind of a crimp in the BH’s distribution of its next issue. So, I’m betting that this is your last edition of the BH.

Hah! Kidding!

Seriously, I have some Facebook friends who, I think, believe the world actually will end on Dec. 21 because of some ancient Mayan calendar issue. I’m convinced that there are those among us who believe conspiracies are widespread and control our world.

Me? Not so much. I’m not a conspiracy kind of guy. Call me na├»ve. I just don’t believe such stuff, and I have no desire to go live in the woods.

Here’s what NASA says about the impending end of the world:

“The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 – hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.”

Apparently, there are enough people in the world who believe the end is near that the Russian government has actually issued a statement, noting that the world should be intact beyond Dec. 21. I find this encouraging.

So, I’m planning on writing, God willing, for the next issue of the Bargain Hunter. Feel better?

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