Charter schools spend less on students, the classroom

Charter schools spend more of their budgets on administrative and maintenance costs instead of in the classroom. Robert Burgess, the former president of the Michigan School Business Officers Association, presented the data from the 2009-10 school year which shows 22.5 percent of charter school budgets is spent on administrative costs while public schools spend 11.5 percent on the same costs.

Burgess estimated that charter schools spend $1,360 per student more than the public schools. In addition to administrative costs, that figure also includes the 14.9 percent of budget spent on school maintenance by charter schools in comparison to the 9.8 percent spent by public schools.

Burgess wants his numbers factored into the discussion of SB 618 which lifts the cap on charter schools.

“If the legislators truly believe in ‘best financial practices’ and in reducing administrative and non-instructional costs, why are they considering lifting the cap on charter schools?” Burgess asked.