Thursday, August 29, 2002

Who Me? Couldn't Be

I'm rewriting a few of my articles from Random Rants from Eville because they pertain to Sig School. The original posts are here and here.

First, from August 18th, I wrote:

Tonight, Fox 7 aired an interview with McCandless, superintendent of the EVSC, about the EVSC's troubling budget crisis. Here's an excerpt:

"Insurance rates are estimated to go up much higher than we anticipated to the tune of an additional $3 million," he said. "We also have the $1.5 million shortfall that the state has told us that we have to deal with. Then we have another $1.4 million that we lose in tuition to charter school."

Yay, let's all shift blame to the charter school! *note the sarcasm*

First off, McCandless generously rounded Signature's student population up to 250 students, then rounded the $5500 given to Sig School for each student to $5600 to reach his $1.4 million figure. The ACTUAL amount of state funding Sig receives, at 226 students and $5500 each student is $1243000. A 12.63% error of $157,000.

But moreover, "$1.4 million" is assuming that all of Sig's students, if not presented with the option of fulltime Sig School, would have attended EVSC schools, bringing their state money with them. But it's a well known fact that a large portion of Sig's students come from private schools. 11 students converted from Day School. $60500 in state funding. Don't forgot the Mater Dei converts or the students who only attended EVSC schools last year because of their option to attend Sig School half day.

With students converting away from the EVSC, it makes sense that this would equate into smaller classroom sizes at home schools. This allows the EVSC to not have to hire more teachers and instead jam the classes back to their pre-Sig Exodus sizes. The roughly 200 former EVSC students who now attend Sig would need at least 8 teachers per period to teach them (I'm assuming that an average class size of 25 is not too small by EVSC 'economic efficiency' standards) if they attended home schools...If we set a teacher's pay at $40,598.40 (the average salary, obtained from the EVSC high schools from the Indiana Department of Education), that's $324787.20 that the EVSC saves not paying teacher salaries!!! (Yes I realize that those 200 students could be jammed into the EVSC's already overcapacity classes without hiring new teachers, thus not incurring any more faculty costs. But then there's the whole lower education standards with larger class sizes, having long term economic impacts that I don't have the time or space to put here)

Finally, with Sig becoming an independent charter school this year, the EVSC no longer has to pay for the Signature facility, transportation, or faculty.

If the EVSC really wanted a budget crisis it should shift blame for its budget crisis and get bad media on Sig, inadvertently forcing Signature to 'uncharterize' itself and rejoin the EVSC (whether formally or through an exodus of teachers and students); then the manure would really hit the fan--the current budget crisis would look like a good prospect!

Oh wait, McCandless is already doing that...

And from today, I wrote:

A report by the Evansville Courier & Press today futher shows how wrong McCandless was:

Evansville's Signature Charter School has 236 students and will receive more than $312,000 in state funding in the second half of 2002, according to a report filed Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Education...But that funding is not coming from the budgets of traditional public schools because the Indiana attorney general ruled that all start-up costs for charter schools must be funded separately...starting in calendar year 2003, state charter school funding will be taken directly from traditional public schools' budgets, and the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp. stands to lose almost $294,000 in funding for the first half of 2003.

Ok, that is $294,000 that the EVSC is losing to charter school this year. NOT the $1.4 million loss
claimed by McCandless. Sig School in NO WAY has lead to the EVSC's current budget crisis.

Jeez, McCandless. At least do what respectable polititians do: blame your predecessor for all your current


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