The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Money for Education

Apr 4, 2011

Charter schools in general and KIPP schools in particular are held up as the educational model by both the Bush and Obama administrations, since students at KIPP schools supposedly do better. A new study looks at the 99 KIPP schools enrolling 27,000 students in 20 states – and shows why they do better!

The study found that not as many KIPP students are low income as in comparable public schools in similar districts. It found that KIPP took in half the number of disabled children as similar public schools must serve. KIPP serves far fewer students for whom English is a second language than in comparable public schools. And the study found that fully 40% of African American male students leave KIPP during the 7th and 8th grades – much more than from the public schools.

Dealing with many fewer students needing remedial help certainly helps KIPP schools produce good education outcomes, such as the figure that 85% of KIPP alumni go on to college.

But another reason for KIPP success is money. At every level, KIPP has more money – $1,779 per pupil from federal education funding, more than any other group, and a lot of private funding. KIPP’s schools had a total on average of $18,491 per pupil from all sources, compared to a national average of $11,937 per pupil.

In other words, KIPP demonstrates that to have better results, more money needs to be spent – more money that lets classes be smaller, teachers have more help, and allows schools to buy more books, supplies and equipment.

So what do all the local and national political hypocrites propose? Less money for public schools.