While the school choice crowd says that public school budgets aren’t affected – even a little bit – by Jeb Bush’s privatizations schemes. The superintendent of on the state’s sixth largest districts begs to differ. Writes Jacksonville Times-Union reporter Denise Smith Amos:
Rebecca Couch, chairwoman of the Duval school board, said the new (voucher) bill introduces more uncertainty into the school district’s budget process because the provision allows an uncounted number of students not currently in public school to be eligible for the scholarships. Couch says that money is taken out of districts’ state funding for each scholarship student, but it’s hard to predict how much to budget for the loss.
Superintendent Nikolai Vitti estimates that Duval’s accumulated loss over the years from students attending private, charter or other “contract” institutions was about $70 million this year, but it may grow to $87 million by the end of next year.
So much for vouchers and charter schools being cost neutral. But pay no attention to those school superintendents.