New Orleans charter schools spend more on administration and less on teaching

Marta Jewson with the Lens writes about how New Orleans charter schools are spending more on administration and less on teachers. In January  the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans released a study showing  that charter schools spent 1,358 more per pupil on operating expenses than traditional schools during the 2013-14 school year.

For example, parishwide school districts often employ a speech therapist to provide special education for some students. A staffer could have a full schedule by rotating among schools in the district.

A charter management organization, with a smaller enrollment, may not have enough demand for a full-time speech therapist. The charter network could hire a contractor, which often costs more per service hour. But the charter network would still need one of its employees to ensure that students are getting the legally required special education.

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