« on: May 15, 2008, 04:17:18 PM »
I'm not an expert on anything, let alone education but I saw some pretty scary stuff when I did a cost analysis for our local school district.
I just want to give a pitch for a private school. Maybe you can help me improve it, or maybe you can tear it apart.
The US average for spending per secondary student is $7,764 per student per year (2007)
So lets pretend there was a way for that funding to go to a privately managed school. So each parent would get 7,764 per year to send their kids to the school of their choice.
What if a group of ten teachers wanted to start and manage a private high school. If you had a student teacher ratio of 19, (LA 21, Miami 19, Chicago 18) the school would have 190 students. So per year, the school would recieve $1,475,160 in funding per year.
There would be some big up-front costs and the teachers would have to get a loan. I'm sure that if the teachers went in together, they would be eligible for around 400,000 in unsecured financing. This loan would pay for books, computers, desks, and the first months salaries for the teachers, and the first month lease for the building.
The monthy budget would be $122,930 (based on a 12 months... but i'd get a lot more because many of the costs would be spread over 9 months instead of 12.)
So you'd have a start up loan payment of 3500 a month
A lease payment of around $20,000 a month
Bonding, and insurance rates of around 6,000 a month
Utility and technology payments of around 800 a month
Janitorial costs of 1,500 a month
Teacher salaries of 50,000 a month ($60K per year per teacher)
Office Manager and Secretary Salaries of 6000 per month
Payroll/Accounting 5,000 per month
Substitute teachers of 3,333 per month
Libertarian health savings accounts of 3000 a month
401k matching of 1800 per month
That brings us to $105,933 in monthly spending. So that leaves 21,997 per month to pay for the stuff I was too lazy to list. I'm overestimating a lot of the costs, I think we'd have a lot of money left over.
The average teacher's salary is around 47k per year so my school would be able to attract above average teachers.
Well what about sports?!
We could still do cross country, and we would probably be able to have a tennis team. The kids could join local sports clubs or leagues. The sports leagues would be more prevelant as more private schools came on line. But the coolest thing is that enough parents wanted high school football and baseball they would just have to pay extra to have their children attend that school. And the football fields could be shared, and located on cheaper real-estate instead of in the middle of the community.
Well what about drama, music and dance?!
There are plenty of community theater projects and dance companies. And we could still have music classes, but the performances would have to be held in the community or at shared auditoriums.
You don't have a principal.
Nope, we wouldn't.. but we would have a board of the ten teachers that could make decisions. If the school was good enough, hopefully the parents would make sure their kid didn't get kicked out.
You don't have counselors.
We could probably afford one, but the kids could use advisors at the college. We could even pay successful college students an hourly wage to help our students with deciding their future. Emotional issues could be handled by the teachers and the parents.
It costs way more than that, you aren't taking all of the expenses into account..
Maybe so, but most schools could keep the quality up with more students, especially if those students had parental support. Also, you could make a ton more money through the summer offering tutoring programs and support services.
And your library?
Internet + community libraries.
What about busses?
This could be a big problem because the students would come from all over. I don't really have a solution, but I guarantee there would be private companies that could come up with some great cooperative solutions
Your quality would drop
This is the argument I just don't understand. What in the world makes you think that the public education system would provide a higher quality education?
This plan would hurt the poor
No it wouldn't. You can make a good argument that it might, but the current system shafts the poor as well. The point of all this is that money isn't the problem.. Beuracracy is the problem. A huge percentage of the educational budget goes to administration. A big part of the private school system is that the teachers get paid more handle the administration. And if your school sucks, it will go out of business.
Now just imagine that 30 teachers went in together. They would have a 60,000 a month lease potential. That monthly payment could build them a 10 million dollar school.
Okay, so that was a lot to read and I'm sorry.. Give me your criticism please, don't just say I'm wrong and leave it at that.