Did you know that Bridgeport’s Board of Education is planning to cut two social workers out of their operating budget?
Yes, the Bridgeport BOE did, in fact, cut two social workers in their 2015-16 operating budget, but five were added to their grants budget.
The point is: If I didn’t explain that last part, I’m pretty sure the supposed cut in social workers would be upsetting news.
In the same way, when former board member Maria Pereira claimed in a recent Only in Bridgeport blog post that the state only gives $8,600 per student to Bridgeport’s “public schools” she forgets to mention to readers that this number doesn’t account for the minimum budget requirement from the city or differences in federal funding.
Comparing the $8,724 (which is the amount I calculated using the state Board of Education’s and Bridgeport BOE websites) the state gave Bridgeport through ECS with the $11,000 charters got last year through their separate state grant is incredibly misleading and dishonest.
That $8,724 doesn’t factor in the $2,804 the City of Bridgeport provides through cash and in-kind contributions through the minimum budget requirement.
And even all that together—which comes to $11,529 if you’re curious— doesn’t really give a full picture either.
According to a recent study conducted by the University of Arkansas, in 2011, Bridgeport charter schools received on average 18.8 percent less revenue per-pupil than district schools. That’s a $3,219 difference.
A lot of that difference can be attributed to the fact that, unlike the districts, state charters receive no money from municipalities, get less federal funding and less money for capital projects.
Coupled with the fact that the state has never decreased Bridgeport’s ECS grant, despite an increase in students attending charter schools over the past few years, the idea that charters receive more funding than districts is absurd.
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