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Ogle: Invest in our public schools

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 9:49 am

Clint Bolick’s recent guest commentary on charter schools (“Charter schools transforming Ariz.’s education landscape,” AFN, Nov.. 23) was filled with inaccuracies. I’d like to set the record straight.

Charter schools do not receive less funding than district schools. In fact, they receive $981 per student more in state funding, according to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. And charters do not spend more of their funds in the classroom “where it counts” than district schools, In fact, charter schools spend nearly twice as much on administration as school districts, according to the Arizona Department of Education.

Let me address another set of facts the writer didn’t specifically misreport, but to which he alluded. Academic performance of students who attend charter schools is not superior to students who attend their local, neighborhood public schools. According to the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, some charters do better; however, most charters do the same as district schools — or worse.

With these facts in mind, and knowing that the families of nearly nine out of 10 Arizona students continue to choose their neighborhood public school, isn’t it time we put our energy, resources and investment there?

• Dr. Timothy L. Ogle is executive director of the Arizona School Boards Association.

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