Pondering Chartering: What do we know about administrative and instructional spending?

School Finance 101

In a recent report, Gary Miron and I discuss some of the differences in resource allocation practices between Charter operators and district schools.  Among other things, we discuss the apparently high administrative expenses of charter operators. But in that same report, we explain that some of these higher administrative expenses, and, as a result lower instructional expenses, result from bad policy structures that constrain resource allocation and/or induce seemingly illogical behaviors.

Some have pointed out to me that this assertion of higher administrative and lower instructional expense by charter operators runs counter claims made by Dale Russakoff in her book The Prize. My doc student Mark Weber has already thoroughly rebutted Russakoff’s anecdotal claims.  Put bluntly. Those claims were supported only by anecdote and run in contrast with the larger body of data in New Jersey (see Mark’s post) and larger literature on the topic. The summary below…

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