October 17, 2017

An Open Letter From the Corbett School Board

In an April 14 letter to the Corbett School District, Corbett Charter School Director Bob Dunton sets out his position regarding the fiscal merits of the charter school.  In Mr. Dunton’s letter, he states that Corbett Charter School educates its students on about $4800 per pupil after rent. Based on this and other statements around the fiscal benefits of the charter, The Corbett School Board of Directors believe it is important to clarify and correct some of those assumptions in his letter to allow the patrons of the community to be fully informed. (A copy of that letter can be downloaded here OpenCorbBdltrhd(3))

First, the $4800 amount referenced in Mr. Dunton’s letter includes classroom related expenditures such as 18 classroom teacher salaries and benefits, classrooms supplies, school level administrative costs as well as $405/per student to help supplement District expenditures on items such as paper, janitorial, secretarial support, music, curriculum, break supervision and tech support. The caution here is that by selecting which costs you count in calculating a per pupil expenditure one can paint a picture that does not accurately represent fiscal reality.  
For instance, if Corbett School performed an equivalent rough analysis including expenses related only to 28 classroom teacher’s salaries and benefits, classroom supplies, school level administrative costs, and an equivalent per pupil expenditure of $405/student for those purchased services that the Charter helps supplement then the Corbett School spends approximately $3700 per student per year.

But that, of course, is not the whole picture.  Corbett School District pays for many more non-classroom expenditures, practically all of which directly benefit Corbett Charter students as well as Corbett School students.  These expenses include bus transportation, athletics, classroom aides, Special Education, the lunch program, and others.
Understand that when you hear that the TSCC reports Corbett School District’s per pupil expenditure at close to $8000 per student it includes all of those other infrastructure items without which the Corbett School and the Corbett Charter School could not operate.
An Analysis of Renting Classroom Space Compared to Filling  that Same Space With Resident or Transfer Students
  
It has also been reported that Corbett School District benefits more from renting classroom space than it does by filling it with resident students or transfer students.  This is not the case.  In fact Corbett School District realizes about $30,000 more per classroom by filling a classroom with residents or transfers than it does under the current rental agreement with the Corbett Charter Association.  (See attached PDF with 2012-2013 Charter Funding Highlighted in Red and Corbett District Funding Highlighted in Green.) SSF 2012-13

$ Generated By Renting A Classroom     $ Generated By Residents/Transfers

Average Occupancy Per Room
25.8ADMw
Average Occupancy Per Room
25.8ADMw
Funding Per ADMw
X    $5825=
Funding Per ADMw
X  $6033=
Total Revenue from the State
+$150,285
Total Revenue From the State
+$155,651
Revenue Transferred to the Charter School
-$150,285
Revenue Transferred to the Charter School
$0
Rent and Purchased Services Paid to the District by the Charter
+$40,555
Rent and Purchased Services Paid to the District by the Charter
$0
Average Cost to the District for Classroom Teacher and Supplies
$0
Average Cost to the District for Classroom Teacher and Supplies
-$85,000
Net to District per Classroom
$40,555
$70,651
The reality is that Corbett School District currently pays for all operations of all buildings and all of the personnel except for the 18 employees of the Corbett Charter School.  Thus, Corbett School District would not see any additional costs, other than the average cost to outfit a room with supplies and a teacher, IF the Corbett School District filled all 18 classrooms with resident students or transfer students.

The fiscal and lease-related issues raised in Mr. Dunton’s are certainly important issues that the patrons of this community must consider carefully and thoroughly.  The Corbett School Board of Directors believe it is equally important, however, that any consideration of these issues takes into account a complete and accurate account of the fiscal issues facing both the District, the charter and the patrons in the community.”
Sincerely,
Corbett School Board of Directors

(Funding per ADMw is based upon the most recent data published by the State of Oregon.  If this hypothetical situation occurred the funding per ADMw for the Corbett School District would be reduced to somewhere between the $5825 and the $6033 number.  However, the general result would be the same.  Corbett School District benefits more financially from filling a classroom with resident or transfer students than it does under the current rental agreement.)

Randy Trani About Randy Trani

A science teacher at heart, Dr. Trani loves the Corbett school community and the Corbett community at large. As a resident of Corbett Dr. Trani is committed to delivering quality education to Corbett students. Dr. Trani became the principal of Corbett Schools in 2004, promoted to Superintendent of Corbett School District #39 in 2010.