Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Ballard Given Control Of Four IPS Schools: Who Pays For The Cost?

Mayor Greg Ballard petitioned the Indiana State Board of Education for control of four failing IPS schools taken over by the state, including Arlington, Howell and Manual High Schools and Donnan Middle School. Today, the state board unanimously approved his request. Mayor Ballard is already responsible for overseeing 22 charter schools sponsored by the Mayor's Office with an enrollment of 8,900 students. As the City assumes control of more schools, who pays for those administrative costs incurred by the City?

Although state law permits the City to collect an administrative fee of up to 3% of the state aid paid to charter schools for tuition support, the City is collecting nothing. Instead, city taxpayers pick up the administrative costs, with annual costs now reaching more than $2 million dollars a year and growing. With the City unable to support basic city services with existing revenues, isn't it time the City started getting reimbursed for its administrative costs for overseeing these schools?

City-County Councilor Brian Mahern has offered a proposal to do just that. Yet it was immediately met with stinging criticism from the Ballard administration and the editors of the Indianapolis Star, who apparently think that basic city services it's statutorily obligated to fulfill should be sacrificed to support education-related services not traditionally provided by municipalities. At the same time, property taxpayers are having to pony up more money to support the public schools because the City keeps decimating their tax base by expanding TIF districts and extending generous tax abatements to businesses.

The verdict is still out on whether the Mayor can do a better job educating children than our public schools. Publicly-available data on the performance of city-sponsored charter schools to date casts considerable doubt that he can. Regardless, the City should be getting funding to cover administrative costs no differently than if those services had been provided by a traditional public school system. It's time now for the City-County Council to act on Mahern's wise proposal.


Flogger said...

I would view the lack of collecting fees from the charters as follows:

The important point to keep in mind with Privatization is not that delivers on it's promises, but that it makes a lot of money for the selected few.

Marycatherine Barton said...

And check out Karl Denniger powerful audio program "The Unholy Bargain", about why he quit the Tea Party once the professional criminals, oops, professional politicians, took it over. There:

"Karl Denninger is one of the few people I'd designate as profound. He understands better than most not only what the American ideal is, but also how it has been lost."

There are many things that are now going on in the USA that are satanic, such as the Obamacare law.