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Date Posted: 19:18:13 02/04/11 Fri
Author: Larry Major
Subject: Ivy Prep FTE info for Charter Starter Too

This is really embarrassing, because I was looking directly at the reason Ivy Prepís student count and FTE count are so different, but failed to see it.

When a charter school originally opens, the first yearís FTE is an estimate agreed upon by the petitioner and authorizing agency. For reasons I canít explain, I thought they also did this in subsequent years, but they donít. A charter schoolís FTE is calculated just like any other operating school system, using a formula based on prior enrollment reports. After someone teaches me how to read a calendar Iíll notice such things, since the QBE worksheet I questioned was published in August Ė months before the first enrollment report is due.

Basically, thereís a time lag in QBE formula funding inherent in the system. Although all school systems are in the same situation, the dramatic difference here is due to the exponential growth a small school like Ivy Prep may experience, where the enrollment can double from one year to the next. When the initial 2010-2011 school year report kicks in, which I think happens during the midterm adjustment, the difference will disappear.

What complicated this particular situation is that the Commission actually was waiting for the Fall report to calculate the local funding component. Here again, it was only the Commission that used the report filed after the schools opened, not the DOE which had already finished its funding calculations.

Feel free to leave comments here, if you wish.

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