Our schools are less efficient today than they were before our district became an all charter district, which is confirmed by multiple indicators. Perhaps the most compelling of which is the cost per pupil to educate our children. Despite having twenty thousand less students today than when our district was centrally run, it costs over $1400 more to educate one of our children. This should cause all of our citizens outrage. This despite liquidating scores of buildings and receiving untold millions of dollars during Katrina recovery should be ample evidence for our citizens to demand a more efficient system. Also, our busing has been nothing short of a circus with costs skyrocketing when compared to pre-Katrina.
Our district has become top-heavy: another example of inefficiency. Before becoming all charter, we had one superintendent making $100K-plus but now we have over 20 charter CEO’s (superintendents from a LEA perspective) who all make $100K-plus. When you add the third party companies contracted by our charter schools to handle reporting, finances, etc…(things centralized districts do), you quickly see why it costs more per pupil to educate our children today compared to our pre-charter system. This can be mitigated with board policies despite preemptions from Act 91.
Example of a policy to address inefficiency (I have many others): During contract negotiations between charters and NolaSchools, assess how the applicant (Charter School) proposes to spend the student allotment (MFP) following an OPSB policy mandate for contracting.
Example 2: Stop 10 year contracting! Unless the schools that want them can document how successful their students are 10 years after entering their programs.