School Choice and Public Schools
The downside of having a one-legged stool
A new study from respected Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice on the fiscal impact of school choice shows that expanding access to private education does no harm to public schools.
The new "Fiscal Effects of School Choice Programs on Public School Districts report indicates that just 36% of public school expenses are fixed costs (buildings, capital expenses) while 64 percent are variable costs (curriculum, instruction - related) over a one year period. Obviously this indicates that schools have a majority of costs that shift along with enrollment.
Ben Scafidi, the report's author elaborates on what that actually means for schools. They actually have more money when students leave because there are fewer to educate, and they get to keep some of the allotted funds to educate them.
Contrary to the talking points of the "More Money is the Answer" crowd, school choice is actually a financial benefit to schools. Because a large portion of education funding does not follow the child, schools continue to receive money for students that have transferred out through school choice programs.
There is a simple answer available for those that truly believe school choice will undermine/destroy/defund public education. Get out a map of the United States, and circle Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, D.C., and the various other states with thriving school choice programs. Which of these states' public school systems have been destroyed by school choice?
This response will probably mean nothing to the people who know full well that school choice won't harm public schools, but still go around saying it because they have something to lose by parents being empowered to make their own choices.
Click here to read the full report by the Friedman Foundation.