It was eye opening to read Rep. Erik Fresen’s March 8 opinion piece, Public school districts overspend, then blame the charter schools. He deftly notes how much more appropriations are per student for non-charter schools than for charter ones.
Of course, since the money isn’t spent per student, but per repairs needed for schools, he is providing irrelevant and misleading information. If a school’s roof is leaking or unsafe because it’s in danger of collapsing, it doesn’t matter how many students are in the school. You fix the problem to ensure that not even one student is in danger.
Anyone able to analyze the most basic math problem would realize that the issue is the spending per school, not per student. So, since there are 623 or so charter schools and the remaining number of about 3,696 schools are non-charter, this means that the House Education Appropriations Committee which he chairs is spending $865.80 per school to fix non-charter schools, but has a whopping $80,256.82 per school going to the charter schools.
Either Fresen is attempting to mislead the public about this issue or else he really doesn’t understand math. If it’s the latter, he should resign from the Appropriations Subcommittee so he has some time to take some math courses. On the other hand, if he is deliberately misleading the public, he should immediately resign from the Legislature all together.
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Michael Tesh, Miami