WHAT IT COSTS to educate our kids and what we actually spend are different numbers … very different, depending on where you're looking. According to a 2007 "costing-out" study, the state average expenditure was $9,512 per pupil, when it should have been $12,057. Philadelphia's spending came up $5,000 short per pupil. The city now spends about $7,000 per student. Not exactly progress.
Still, a new report from the Auditor General Jack Wagner says we're paying too much for charter schools. The study compared the charter expenditures for states that have similar high enrollments of charter and cyber-charter students, such as Texas and Arizona. The auditor general found that Pennsylvania spends about $3,000 more per student in "bricks and mortar" charter schools, and $3,500 more for cyber schools than the national average. He claims that the state could save $315 million by adjusting the funding formula to reflect the national average of $10,000 per student.