Educational unions, with help from some media friends, have tried to make it look like charter schools get extra funding because they compare the cost of a new school with the average cost of established schools.
This is not apples and apples.
A fair comparison would be comparing start-up costs of the charter schools with start-up costs of new state schools.
Nine charter schools have been created, and they have combined start-up costs of $9.43 million. They have capacity for 1,680 students. So the cost per 200 students is around $1.1 million.
Let’s look at costs (data from Alwyn Poole) of new state schools of a similar capacity
- Mission Heights $60 million for 1,500 roll
- Rolleston High School $53 million for 1,040 roll
- Ormiston High School $50 million for 1,000 roll
The average cost per 200 students to set up a new state school is $9.4 million compared to $1.1 million for charter schools.
So new charter schools cost less than new state schools. Yes they cost more initially than an existing state school, but that is not the valid comparison.