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Date Posted: 06:45:16 02/13/11 Sun
Author: Larry
Subject: About that list
In reply to: CharterStarter, Too 's message, "Re: An example might help" on 13:50:26 02/12/11 Sat

Commission schools do get T&E Ė Ivy Prepís is 5.18% and CCATís is 39.62%. As another example of how averages (donít) work, CCATís salary funding averages $4219 a kid compared to $2410 for Ivy Prep. Thereís no funding inequity between these two Commission Schools; itís purely because CCAT has considerably more kids in SPED categories and the difference in the T&E factor.

Commission schools also get nursing funding as a categorical grant, just they receive Federal ARRA funding (theyíre at the bottom of the QBE worksheet). Iím not sure what other federal funding you mentioned that wouldnít apply to charter school students.

Commission schools donít get transportation funding, but why should they? People avoid talking about the real reason charter schools rarely provide bus service, but truthfully, itís huge risk. If you end up with one kid in a wheelchair, you have to purchase a specially equipped bus. It would take down a small school and it just isnít practical.

I wonít speculate on lawmakersí logic behind excluding Commission Schools from Equalization Funding and the 5 mill buy-in, so Iíll just deal with the result. The 5 mill buy-in deduction, which isnít applied to Commission Schools (but, curiously is applied to other charter schools) costs Gwinnett schools about 20 percent of their total QBE funding. The Equalization grant hardly makes a dent in this, and adding Equalization to the QBE total, the 5 mill deduction still costs 19 percent of QBE funding. Commission Schools are coming out w-a-y ahead on this arrangement.

Bringing SPLOST into this is just wrong on every level. The SPLOST has nothing to do with state funding, itís only for capital projects and thereís no way to divide it up among a group of students to show anything meaningful. My daughter got nothing from the SPLOST, but Iím not claiming GCPS should spend a million on her this year just because thatís how it averages out for the kids at Mill Creek. Remember, the SPLOST is a relatively recent thing which required a massive effort and a constitutional amendment. What youíre actually doing is trying to justify taking away my daughterís QBE earnings because you donít like the Constitution. Iíll spare you my opinion on that position and instead suggest you contact some lawmakers. Theyíre currently talking about changing how SPLOST proceeds can be used, so this is a good time to get new ideas in the mix.

Now Ė about that 3% tragedy. I think itís positively obscene for the Commission to pocket over $71,000 from one small school like Ivy Prep. I canít be the only human to notice theyíre taking away over $150 of education funding from each student. People bitch about what Alvin makes, but his salary would be over $25 million a year at this rate. If anyone is complaining about it, theyíre not doing a very good job. I was at the meeting when the Commission voted to retain 3% and no one said a word. Thereís no op-eds, no letters to the editor Ė nothing. I see a big ďchoiceĒ rally for no apparent reason, but hereís something that needs correction and itís just sitting there ignored. I mean, 70 grand isnít a lot of money, but it is relatively easy picking. You donít need to change any laws or even a policy Ė just squeeze four people the right place, change their vote and walk away with the money.

You likely wouldnít know this but, since weíve had some experience in this area, other parent groups have come to CPOG for suggestions on how to persuade public officials Ė and Iíll make you the same offer I made them. If you need a message board to organize, you can use this one. If you want a message board of you own like this one, which can be password protected to keep some folks out of it if you like, Iíll set one up and hand it over to you. If you want a generic email account Ė or even personal ones for members of your group Ė Iíll give you those (provided youíre not squeamish about having a cpoga.org email address). If you want to write an op-ed type opinion piece, Iíll put it on the web page. If you donít mind risking commenters raking you over the coals, it could also go on the blog. (These last two will require someoneís real name to go on it, otherwise it has no credibility.) Also, I can tell you exactly how I would go about this, and be surprised if you couldnít get action in 60 days Ė but I donít want to put that up here.

None of this will cost you anything other than the effort to do something with it. Let me know.

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