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  • IT’S NOT THAT EASY

    Filed at 8:55 am under by dcobranchi

    IT’S NOT THAT EASY The Chairman of William & Mary’s Economics Department, who claims to have done many cost-benefit analyses, commits the most fundamental of errors in looking at potential savings if VA had a voucher system- ignoring the fixed costs associated with education. The Professor basically just looked at the average private school tuition vs. the average public expenditure per pupil and subtracted.

    Start by looking at a basic set of facts, suggests Professor Carlisle Moody, chairman of William and Mary’s economics department. Taxpayers in Virginia spend an average of $6,400 per pupil on public schools around the state. Average private-school tuition in Virginia is $4,500 per pupil.

    “If we could somehow entice public schoolchildren into going to private school, we could save $1,900 a year [per pupil]. That’s almost $2,000 a year for every kid who somehow found his or her way into private school,” Moody told a pre-Christmas conference at the Capitol. “If 10 percent of public school kids [116,000 of them] migrated to private schools on 100 percent scholarships, Virginia taxpayers would save $220 million.”

    And is VA going to fire 10 percent of the teachers and tear down 10 percent of the schools? Not likely. And in the category of you can’t eat your cake and have it too, we find this section:

    [State Delegate and public school teacher] Cox says that he is “a bit puzzled why many of my [public school] colleagues aren’t for school choice.” Choice, he said, “will do nothing but help the public schools.”

    One example is overcrowding. Last year, the state spent $126 million on reducing class sizes. Well, opening private choice to students would reduce class size.

    If you get 10 percent of the kids to transfer out, you can reduce average class size by the same amount. Or, you can close some schools and save the fixed costs. You can’t do both.

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