The LFC has issued a report highly critical of the cost-to-benefit ratio of the charter schools. Among the recommendations are to cut funding for existing schools and stop funding for new schools. There are currently 72 charter schools in New Mexico. According to a survey of 16 of the schools, the graduation rate is only one out of two for charter schools (51%) while it is two out of three for state schools. The study also found excessive costs, poor management of taxpayer funds (one school spent instructional funds for a high school prom), and poor achievement scores in comparison with state schools. Charter schools spend $9200 per student while school districts spend only $7300 per student.
The bottom line is student performance. If charter schools have low achievement scores and poor graduation rates, taxpayers should stop funding them. This seems especially urgent, given the $2000 extra per pupil taxpayers are shelling out now for poor performance. This would be true in good economic times, but in the kind of fiscal environment we are in now, it seems to be a good time to pull the plug.
Can anyone give me a good argument to keep them going?