Quote of the Day: Charter School Equity

The Asbury Park Press looks at inequities in facilities funding between NJ charter schools and traditional schools.  The piece highlights Academy Charter High School in Lake Como, where “students dribble basketballs on a recent Thursday afternoon under a gym roof that lets in sunlight, rain and the occasional bird through weather-worn holes.” Says Carlos Perez, of the NJ Association of Charter Schools:
Facility funding is the single biggest challenge in starting or sustaining a charter public school and our state does not provide new or existing charter schools with access to facility funding or underutilized local public school facilities.
The article notes that currently 30,000 NJ kids attend charter schools and another 20,000 are on waiting lists; “without funding consistent with that of traditional public schools, it will be more difficult for New Jersey’s charter public schools to provide educational gains to more students, according to the association.”

The quote of the day? Here it is, especially for those who swear that all charter schools weed out kids with disabilities:
Academy Charter director MaryJo McKinley says her school opened 15 years ago in a renovated bar that was built in the 1990s but poorly maintained. She said the school has to spend 16 percent of its per-pupil budget on $30,556-a-month rent and facility issues. 
The school’s per-pupil costs are about $19,362; at Asbury Park High School, the per-pupil cost in 2010-11 was $29,095, a figure heavily bolstered by state aid. 
Academy Charter, with a roughly 19 percent special-needs population that year, had a 95.45 percent graduation rate in 2010-11, according to the state Department of Education. That rate has since crept up to 98 percent, says director MaryJo McKinley. Asbury Park High School had a graduation rate of 59.46 percent in 2010-11.

Labels: ,