by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
After years of losing enrollment and market share to homeschools, school districts are looking for ways to bring them back into the district system, mostly to boost revenues. Last year, Tammy Covil wrote about school district recruitment efforts that invite homeschool families to enroll in district-sponsored e-learning academies. She wrote,
Earlier this month, an article in the Lexington Herald Leader outlined one such program. The Wayne County public school system is attempting to connect with homeschool students through online courses in exchange for enrollment into the school system. Primarily geared toward high school students, these courses are completed online from home, with oversight provided by a public school teacher assigned to the class. The cost to the school system is about $100 per course. The state funding that flows into the district by virtue of student enrollment, however, is $3200 per student per year.
Days later, the New Hanover County school system here in North Carolina followed suit with an almost identical proposal. The details of the profit potential in their presentation was a bit more revealing. The New Hanover County school system is projecting Average Daily Membership (ADM) funding allotment of $5,000 via the state and $2,700 through local funds. The projected cost to the district for a student fully enrolled in the program (4 online courses per year) totals $2,800, which leaves roughly $4,900 in ‘excess funding for use by NHCS per student.’ In other words, 63% of the per pupil state and local ADM allotment is money that will not benefit the student the district is targeting.
Now it appears that other school districts are making similar pitches. A parent from Avery County passed along the following:
It’s not clear if these Hail Mary appeals have been successful. My guess is that most home school families, like the one above, find them to be kinda creepy.