Recently I have written several articles about the negative financial impact of charter schools on true public education in Franklin County.
Today I plead guilty of understating the problem and not highlighting the inevitability of a huge jump in the amount of your tax dollars that will be siphoned away from Franklin County.
State and county tax dollars earmarked for K-12 education follow the student if the student attends a charter school.
I previously established that currently accounts for over $1 million in Franklin County tax dollars.
That is based on the current 700 Franklin County students in 20 different charter schools, 19 of which are outside Franklin County.
FY 2012 is the most recent for which accurate per-student state spending is available. It was $8,225.
I like simple, round numbers and used $8,000 for my calculations. Today the total drain on Franklin County Schools is about $6.6 million a year.
Neither state nor county funds follow homeschooled students, of which there are 678 in Franklin County.
In reality, that will change next year. The state issued charters to two virtual charter schools for the 2015-2016 academic year. Incidentally, they are for-profit corporations, one of which has a less than sterling performance history and the other is a foreign corporation.
The primary customers for virtual charters are homeschoolers. The theory is that a virtual charter offers the homeschooler academic resources.
Let's assume 300 of the 678 enroll in virtual charters; that would mean about another $2.8 million would be removed from the Franklin County School System. We are now over $9 million drained from Franklin County alone. That is a huge hit to public education in Franklin County!
Remember Franklin County accounts for only about six-tenths of one percent of North Carolina's population.
Extrapolating those numbers, we see where there is about $1.5 billion in annual revenue available to the charters in North Carolina.
That number is based on projections and assumptions. For the sake of discussion, let's say I'm over by a highly unlikely 50 percent.
That is still $750 million and significant motivation. The operators of these entities are largely business people making an investment and the current Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly appears willing to manipulate laws and regulations to insure their financiers a handsome return on their investments in them.
Here is the scary part: this is only one industry.