Mesa educates students online at 1/8th the cost of Primavera charter

Aug 23, 2018 by

Unlike their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online schools don’t have to build classrooms or buy textbooks. They have no lunchrooms or sports teams.

But they do hire teachers, furnish curriculum and pay for a lot of computer equipment.

There are at least 41 districts and 20 charter schools operating online programs, state records show.

So how much should it cost to provide a publicly funded education to students who pursue it online?

Comparing the online operations of the state’s largest public district, Mesa Public Schools, with Arizona’s largest virtual charter school, Primavera, gives two very different answers.

State records show:

  • Mesa spent $278 per student to educate the 7,570 students it enrolled in its online program last year.
  • Primavera, meanwhile, spent $2,177 to educate each of its 20,210 students.

The bottom line: Mesa operates an online program at roughly one-eighth the cost of Primavera.

Why such different costs?

Source: Mesa educates students online at 1/8th the cost of Primavera charter

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