Friday, March 15, 2013

White flight ... from private schools?

Private school enrollment has been declining nationwide over the past decade,  especially among white students,  according to a new U.S. Census Bureau study.

The working paper concludes that that national downturn,  which began earlier in the decade,  isn't likely to have been caused by the recession.  Instead,  it found a link between charter school growth and private school decline,  suggesting that families who aren't happy with traditional public schools may be switching to a tuition-free alternative.

The Census study inspired me to check North Carolina's private-school reports. They show enrollment growing steadily in Mecklenburg County and statewide from 2000 to 2009, with both slumping in 2010.

But the numbers don't show a dramatic decline.  Mecklenburg's private enrollment began ticking up again in 2011 and 2012.  The latest report shows a total of 19,545 students in Mecklenburg's private schools,  accounting for just over 20 percent of all N.C. students in private schools.  That's just barely below the 2009 peak of 19,733.  Statewide, the 2012 total of 96,096 in private schools is about 2.5 percent below the 2009 peak.

The national report raises interesting questions about the dynamics of change, especially with a surge in charter schools statewide and in the Charlotte region. Leaders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Mecklenburg's charter and private schools have held two meetings to talk about the balance between competition and cooperation.

Nobody's ready to issue a public plan or agenda yet, but CMS spokeswoman Kathryn Block said they're discussing potential for common ground in  "teacher professional development,  transportation,  grants and community messaging."

Speaking of the charter boom:  N.C. Senators Jerry Tillman and Dan Soucek filed a bill Thursday that would create a new governing board for charters. Here's what the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools had to say about it.


Anonymous said...

OMG. Is it Seinfeld deja vu. The other side showed up? Not to shabby for an older woman. 100% improvement.

BolynMcClung said...
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BolynMcClung said...


This is a question with a surprising answer.

Most of us are familiar with the home loan giant Sallie Mae. Until 2004 it had a connection to the U.S. government. Today it is a private entity. One of their products is student loans for a K12 education.

The information below isn't intended to be an ad for Sallie Mae. Just a benchmark.

The headline on their website is:
Give Your Child the Gift of Private Education.

Below is the sample schedule for a loan.

"This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms available for the K-12 Family Education Loan and has a $10,500 loan with one disbursement, a 3% disbursement fee, and a 12.80% variable APR: 35 payments of $352.79, and one payment of $352.78, for a total paid of $12,700.43. Variable rates may increase after consummation."

Below is the interest rate statement:
Rates are variable, and start between LIBOR + 7.00% (7.25% APR) to LIBOR + 11.50% (13.82% APR)1

Bolyn McClung
Pineville, NC

Skippy said...

Get back to me when you do an essay about white flight in Charlotte. You also left out the home schooling option.

Anonymous said...

White people are having fewer children.

Anonymous said...

We started with private schools, went on to charter (the vaunted schools of North Mecklenburg without naming names.) One left the first child with inadequate preparation for college as evidenced by his struggles and those of everyone of his classmates at the same school. The second left the childish atmosphere at one school and is now happily enjoying being in a CMS high school.

In a few years we'll see the white flight out of charters too.

Ettolrahc said...

I wonder if CMS will get some just as much scrutiny?

What is going on with the white folks in CMS, where are they, why are thy moving, are there schools in CMS that has majority white students and why?

All of these have questions that are never explored by our observer, and why are some schools having drop out rates at above fifty percent but the observer is not yelling it from the top of the observer building at lunch everyday, to warn the citizens.

So much needs to be said but is never said.

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem with demographics.

CMS student population continues to increase. Mecklenburg County is close to hitting the one million mark, yet the White population in the County continues to shrink as are Whites in CMS.

It also stands to reason that when people are offered other opportunities, such as charter schools, they will weigh that option against public and private schools.

Now that the economy is improving and real estate has been coming back over the past couple of years, how many people are moving to other parts of the County and enrolling their kids in suburban schools and saving the money they were paying for private school?

The bottom line is, public schools for the most part are still in the toilet and will continue that trend, as well as parents looking for the best educational opportunities for their kids.

Shamash said...

The paper goes into a lot of possibilities, but doesn't analyze the data by student age or grade, so it is hard to tell if there is a pattern in that or if it is a drop across all age groups.

That might be interesting to see.

It mostly considers Catholic Schools, which, of course, have some well known problems such as the demographic shift of Catholics from white to "diverse" and the infamous sex scandals.

As for the rest, I wonder if the growing trend of deconsolidation of public school districts has made much of a difference.

I didn't see that listed as a possibility.

In particular, places like Atlanta with its "Whitopias" surrounding a more "diverse" core come to mind.

I am fairly certain that if Ballantyne (for example) seceded from CMS, it would likely draw in more private school students.

A combination of greater local control and some further Charter school options just might do the trick.

Maybe that is what is happening in other parts of the country as well.

This wouldn't surprise me at all.

What really makes more sense to me, though, is for public schools to provide the information for spotting this trend.

This should be a part of their regular analysis of how well they are performing, shouldn't it?

It would be for just about any other organization.

How well do they stack up against the "competition" so to speak.

What drives their market share?

If they don't know this, then they are truly flying blind.

Maybe the public schools (including Charters) should track whether or not they are pulling in more kids from private schools rather than have the Census analysts try to figure this out from more surveys.

Don't they keep a record of transfers in and out anyway?

Anonymous said...

The main reason private school enrollment is people cannot afford it. Its a waste a money anyway as intelligence is based on the luck of what kind of genes you are handed
A good analogy might be competitive sports. The best coaches in the world can’t make Minne Me into a star basketball player. The best teacher in the world can’t make a future insurance salesman into a scientist.

There is no vast untapped reservoir of would-be Einsteins waiting for the right kind of teacher to come along.

You can’t teach dumb kids to be smart. The most you can do is identify those who are smart and put them on an academic track that will lead them to a career where their talents will not be wasted. This is precisely what we used to do. Then somewhere along the way people started pretending that the reason why smart kids were smart had something to do with the education they received, as opposed to raw genetics. They saw correlation and pretended it was causation.

The result has been an educational system in America that pretends all kids should go to college, when in truth only about 25% are college material.
It is often said that in today’s world a college degree is a fundamental requirement for a good job. Well that isn’t precisely true. It appears to be true because most of the people who have good jobs have degrees. But the real truth is that those who have good jobs are more intelligent than those who do not.

But what happens when someone goes to school and gets a degree in a field that does not require intellectual firepower? The holder of such a degree is no better off than someone with no degree at all the moment the market realizes that the degree does not indicate anything positive about that person.

Shamash said...

Y'all really should read that US Census Bureau report before commenting too much on the missing possibilities.

At least you see what they considered and didn't consider before reaching their conclusion(such as it is).

Also, their main conclusion was that they needed more data.

But that's something that will always be true for the Census.

Anonymous said...

By Far the dumbest article thus far. Any parent with common sense and the money would love for his/her child to attend the best possible school.There are some good schools that are public and charter, but overall private schools are better, maybe not perfect but better. So if the study shows a decline in Private school attendance, which I thought, then it could possibly be due to cost not lack there of education or progression. Follow the money and you will find accountability and schools that are the very best in the nation. Do I like it, may be not, but its reality.

Shamash said...

Anon 8:22am

I mostly agree with what you say about college readiness.

Of course "college" has been dumbed down, too, so I can see why everyone wants that piece of paper now.

A "college degree", especially from some diploma mill, is almost the new HS diploma.

It's like inflation with paper money, you keep needing those higher denominations to buy the same loaf of bread.

People demand "credentials" when they don't know any other way to evaluate people (or are afraid of being sued for "discrimination"), so yeah, we've brought that on ourselves through stupidity.

I am particularly annoyed when I see things like that CMS program that was recently in the paper where all teachers were expected to "believe" that all children were capable of going to college.

To me, that's just stupid.

And why would you want a gullible, stupid teacher who would "believe" something like that?

Why not just have them all "believe" in the Tooth Fairy, or Mermaids, for that matter?

For all the good it's going to do.

But I'm drifting off topic again...

Anonymous said...

Charters schools are being created segregate schools. As we know whites were just so happy when they were forced to integrate. That is what the charter movement is all about . Seperate but equal schools . Why pay for a private school when you can send your child to a all white public school for free? Stop being cowards and speak truthfully

Anonymous said...

Good comment but you left out the students that became plumbers or other tradesmen. They may lack a 4 year degree but they are probably making more money than many with a degree.

Jim said...

Do you recall a sharp uptick in job losses and a decline in the economy occurring in the same time frame as the decline in private school enrollment? Do you think there might be a connection? Occam's Razor stuff, you know!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:37am.

You seem well informed...

So which Charter schools in CMS are "all white"?

Do you have a list?

I'd really like to know, being a white racist and all that, so I can send my kids there.

And let all my white friends in private school know they can save money, too.

Shamash said...


Yep. That was in the paper, too.

Check the link. Read the report.

It's really a request for more information.

Occam wants a whole set of multi-blade razors for this study.

Anonymous said...

Seriously you wrote that article? The private schools in Charlotte could expand when ever they choose as the lines to get in have never been longer. CMS continues on its path and the state will take over education. Its a factual matter grades have gone down as CMS loses it brightest kids. Closing schools , late bell , new young teachers with 0 experience , no superintendant, a cluster of a board , LIFT (really) and poor planning are just a few reasons families RUN from CMS.

Anonymous said...

Is it that white students are leaving private schools, or simply that a more diverse population is now choosing (and can afford) a private school education? I'm white, fully intend to send my child to private school once he hits kindergarten age, but it has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the quality of education, the involvement of teachers, parents, administration, etc. Having attended both private school and public school in Charlotte when I was growing up, I can tell you, those are the things that matter. Race is (or should be)a non-issue.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, but 9:17, You obviously are not telling the truth. As we've been told for years here in Charlotte, every decision white parents (especially suburban parents) make about their children's education is based on race and "fear of diversity". Just ask present and former Observer editorial page editors, local activists, and some local politicians.

Shamash said...

Just comparing the two reports, US Census vs. NC Private, something is terribly wrong.

Their numbers aren't even close, so claiming a trend is a bit silly.

Both studies claim to show numbers for K-12 private school students.

The NC study has numbers which vary between 96K and 98K, showing about a 2K drop over the last 5 years or so.

The Census study (Table 4) has numbers MUCH HIGHER, in the high 150'sK such as 158K, dropping down to 143K for 2010 which is MUCH MORE DRAMATIC.


Now what is the problem here?

The US Census data has a separate number of Home Schooled which is typically around 80K, so that's not the explanation.

Anyone have any idea where those extra 60K Private School kids the US Census claims are out there are?

It's a significant chunk.

Oddly enough, BOTH studies claim around 80K students for Home Schooling.

Sounds like something isn't right with the private school reporting?

Someone check my numbers here...

Am I missing something?

Shamash said...

Anon 9:17am

Another possibility is that THE CENSUS STUDY IS WRONG.

They show a 14K drop in private school enrollment in North Carolina (Table 4) and even have it footnoted with two other states (Arkansas and Georgia) as statistically significant changes.

In other words, a significant chunk of their analysis may be based on flawed data.

That's a no no.

The Census numbers are NOWHERE near what the NC studies show for private school enrollment and the drop is much less significant (2K vs 14K drops) in the NC reported numbers.

Anyway, the numbers don't match, so now I'm curious about who's right and who's wrong.

Or maybe I'm missing something.

It's only my first cup of coffee.

Wiley Coyote said...
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Wiley Coyote said...

As I have said many times, you can make data fit any argument.

Census data, is it right or wrong?

There are thousands and thousands of children getting free and reduced lunches in Mecklenburg County and the US that shouldn't be, based on US Census poverty numbers.

So do we believe THOSE numbers or the bleeding heart liberals who say otherwise or skim over the whole thing and say "just feed the kids"?

I have plenty of data for sale. Please contact me if you're interested. It's a dime a bag.

Anonymous said...

One thing not mentioned in this article is the rising population of families who are choosing to homeschool their children. It is a mistake to leave homeschooling out of the conversation when discussing schooling options available in NC.

There were 83,609 homeschooling student in NC 2011-2012 and that population is growing every year (7% growth annually nationwide), compared to just under 100,000 student in private schools. The day is not far off where the number of students who are homeschooled will exceed the number of students enrolled in private school in NC.

With the number of options available to families who choose to educate their students at home in terms of curriculum and online options, the significant number of support communities that exist for homeschooling families, as well as the growing momentum in the homeschooling movement, I believe this trend will continue.

Homeschooling is no longer an underground movement, but is instead a mainstream, affordable option for education for families of every demographic, income level, and education level. Homeschool students consistently perform well above national averages on achievement tests, and contrary to the believes of some in opposition to the homeschool movement, socialization is not an issue.

Abc said...

Yes, what about the increase in homeschooling?

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...


Well, the Census seems to have found an extra 60K private school students in NC that the NC private schools (that NC knows about) don't know about.

I wonder who's feeding them?

And what they're being fed?

Maybe they're going to some "special" private schools that are too private for anyone else to know about.

Now wouldn't that be cool?

Maybe they're the REAL PRIVATE SCHOOLS where all our future leaders are being groomed to dominate the dumbed-down masses in the public and "pseudo-private" schools we all know about.

Or maybe they're para-military organizations where kids learn to pilot black helicopters and hack into other kids iPads for the answers to test questions.

Or maybe...

Yeah, data is cheap.

Shamash said...
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Shamash said...

Bill, Tina,



Yes. They thought about that.

It's in that Census paper linked to in the article:

"For example the number of homeschooled children in North Carolina
increased by 2,000 from 2009 to 2010, while the number of private school students decreased by

It's that DECREASE by 15,000 in private schools that I can't seem to find anywhere else.

It even contradicts what the NC report on private schools says for the enrollment numbers.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I did read the link - I was just surprised the article did not address homeschooling as a factor when summarizing the conclusions of the report as it was clearly identified in the report as a driving factor.

Anonymous said...

Yo Doss

Those 2 pics are night and day and don't even look like the same person.
It was brutally sadistic of you to torture your readers so savagely and obtusely without a just cause.

This new pic is quite an amazing transformation and startling new look that brings out an acute positive image needed ...

Speaking for millions of your readers being the famous knowledgeable intellect you are please so everyone a favor and use the new pic only that is enlightening and displays a touch of class and taste ...

Otherwise we have no choice but to have you terminated ...

Nice pic ...

Abc said...

Bill, that's what I was thinking. I was also wondering why it wasn't mentioned in this article, especially if it's mentioned in the research.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte - Mecklenburg Schools have been in a decline since the 1966 - 1967 school year. They have never recovered from desegregation. They dropped their standards on testing, graded on the curve so many students would not fail - I was there - you had kids making 40's and 50's on English test yet getting c's and b's because they graded on the curve. This did not help those children - it did not help the school system. We are still reaping what was sowed by the school administrators back then.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't live in Ballantyne where the schools here are still fairly decent, I'd be sending my kid to a private school in a heartbeart. The bottom line, if you have a smart kid, they don't need private school to succeed if they are motivated and good students. Does it help getting into elite colleges? I think so, but I'd be interested in seeing the statistics about ivy-league and other top tiered colleges and their entrance percentages of private vs public schools graduates

Ann Doss Helms said...

Definitely read the full report. That's the beauty of the internet -- I can get you there with one click and not spend lots of time recapping what that researcher wrote.

I didn't mention homeschooling in my brief synopsis because there weren't clear conclusions about that effect -- statistically insignificant link, need for more data.

It is very odd that the home-school numbers for NC seem to match the reports on the NC Division of Nonpublic Education page:
But the private-school numbers are way off. That does make me wonder about the census numbers.

Anonymous said...

Too bad this county is always the last to make a move to do what all the rest in the nation have been doing for decades with Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Seattle etc splitting into smaller independent cities having their own separate independent school systems and police force. This will eliminate the need for private school although charter schools will thrive.

At last insider word we are hearing of the following new cities that would be easily approved in Raleigh with a GOP House and Senate and Gov. Democrat liberals are all socialist pigs and bullies who forcefull try to stuff their leftist pervert agendas down WE The People's throats as tyrant Obama is currently doing. Those areas privately discussing secession and in the process:

1)Ballantyne proj pop 150,000
2)Lake Wylie proj pop 50,000
3)South Park proj pop 100,000
4)Myers Park proj pop 75,000
5)Dilworth proj pop 75,000

This would be a 450,000 population reduction while retaking 50% of the land stolen since 1959 by Charlotte who has we all know bullied its way in over reach zealous encroachment abusing the old liberal annexation laws that have been all overturned and re-written since 2011.

Having new found freedom and control over your lives, cities, independent school systems and police while not allowing Sec 8 crime ridden depreciating social engineering along with many other benefits will be mean a brand new day for individual freedoms as the Constitution demands.

New cities can set their own tax codes and tax rates and be in control of their lives as never before. Obviously everyone will still pay county taxes but each city can micro-manage its own finances and control its future and destiny without having "BIG BULLY" steal and use it for its own usual greedy self serving interest only.

Time to assert yourselves and formulate new strategies while the time is right in Raleigh. Take control of your lives and destiny. Lower taxes in the cities could lower property tax bills as much as 40% while enhancing values for resell.


Ann Doss Helms said...

12:27, I'm going to leave this up because you clearly put some work into making points related to this discussion, but next time try it without the name-calling.

Shamash said...


Well, those ARE gubmint numbers.

Both of them.

But it is good to see that it wasn't just the lack of coffee (which I've corrected).

I'll see if I can't get one of my minions to straighten this little discrepancy out with the US gov...

Maybe people lie to the Census takers.

And then they base a bunch of studies on those lies.

They might want to know that.


We'll just take that 15K enrollment drop in private schools in NC and run with it.

It's like unemployment.

People only read the headline numbers anyway.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Shamash, I need some minions. Where do you get them? :-)

Anonymous said...

Los Angeles has 662,000 students and Atlanta 55,000

Anonymous said...

The "flight" comes from the middle class (regardless of race).

If you have a "smart/gifted" child, CMS will take care of them and provide wonderful opportunities.

If you have a child who is struggling -- or considered "disadvantaged" in any way, CMS will throw all kinds of money and resources their way.

If you have a "normal" kid who comes from a "middle class" background-- forget it. They will fall between the cracks. They get lost. Nobody pays attention to them. It's the "normal" (not brilliant/not failing) middle class kids who are running to the charter schools. Less violence, fewer distractions and more teacher interaction is helping those "normal" kids bump up a notch or two and helping them have a chance of academic success and a brighter future.

Our charter school is NOT perfect (organization is not its strength) but it's better than what we had before.

Anonymous said...

I do not appreciate my tax money subsidizing charter schools. They are essentially state paid private schools. The funds should go to the public schools or cut completely out of the budget, preferably the former.

Anonymous said...

White Flight, black flight, brown flight, flight in general will exist when people are uncomfortable with their surroundings.

Flight is not really the problem, its a flawed solution to the problem.

I agree w/ the post indicating charter schools should not get tax money. The charter school movement was an inappropriate response to the true problem.

The problem is that schools are managed and funded inappropriately. Schools should not be funded via property taxes, as property owners are not the sole beneficiaries of quality educations. This helps to enflame misguided rhetoric such as what was posted by the gentleman describing secession. Because I own a house in this county vs. renting, I have the privilege of paying for someones education. That is a bad way to start the conversation regarding funding schools. The budget should come from the general fund which should be contributed to by everyone, bc we all benefit. The property taxes should go to the general fund as well. Education should be made a priority, b/c a well educated population is the real draw to attract businesses, not tax breaks.

Schools are also managed inappropriately given the focus on test scores. There's more to teacher performance than whether the average test score is 80 or 100. There are more factors influencing the test score beyond the teacher's performance. School should be a central place where children are prepared to be productive adults, whether that is a path through college, trade school, or otherwise. This work involves understanding the issues brought with/developed in the child to/at the school in order to have a shot at muting the impact of the issues on the education of the child. This effort cant always be detected by a test score.

We are stuck in a cycle of incremental changes to the school system w/ people angry about funding wanting one thing and people angry about performance wanting another, while people who are generally angry egg them on.

If we were to make education a real priority, then likely teacher pay would increase, funding would increase, diversity in schools would increase, diversity in models of education would increase, and we'd all be the better for it. We have a lot of positives going on in CMS, but the anger on all sides limits the system from expanding upon the pockets of excellence.

Missouri said...

Not sure where you get that charter schools are private schools. Any student can go as long as they have seats. Just apply. Soon, there will be more charter school seats for students in the West Charlotte area than in north Mecklenburg area. Just apply. The state and county will pay to educate your child there.

Charter schools are like an extension of CMS's magnet school program. They are not encumbered by many of the ridiculous regulations CMS is faced with. Basically in charter schools the teachers can focus on teaching.

Luckily charter schools exist because CMS would not know what to do with that many more students and CMS has proven they are unwilling to educate the middle of the road kids. These kids had been falling through the cracks CMS. Now they are getting an education. Be glad someone is paying attention to them. They will be the new middle class that saves this country.

Anonymous said...

US Census data says CMS should have about 37k kids qualifying for FRL. CMS actually reports a number around 75k. The sample audit of FRL in CMS indicates a fraud rate from 48% a few years ago to over 60 percent recently. Tak ethe fraud rate into consideration, the census data is about right.

Why will we not fight to get the fraud out of Medicaid, Medicare, the welfare state, section 8, FRL, etc.?

Ann Doss Helms said...

On property taxes and renters: Is there a landlord alive who doesn't include taxes in the rent payment? I've rented and owned, and I'm pretty sure I paid both times. The difference was whether I wrote the check to the landlord or the government.

Anonymous said...

Ann, the problem with property taxes is all the Section 8 in this county. Us few federal tax payers pay these taxes for someone else and I'll bet the government's markup is over 200%.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has ever been a licensed certified real estate appraiser knows there are 3 approaches of valuation for real estate property. Apartments and condos are always done by Income Capitalization Approach meaning each apartment complex or other similar multi unit property is valued by the amount of ratio capitalized rent or income paid the owners annually. Renters of apartments most definitely are charged rent by these valuations figured by property tax appraisers using income of owners.

Cost Approach

The cost approach is not commonly used. The primary assumption of this method is that the value is the same as the cost to construct the property or replacement cost. This method requires an in-depth knowledge of construction and material costs.

Sales Comparison/Market Approach

This is the method most are familiar with as it is the accepted method for valuing residential real estate. Typically this method involves selecting properties with similar characteristics in the the same market area that have recently sold. Once those properties are found they are compared to the property in question and a professional appraiser will deduct value from the subject property for comparative deficiencies and increase value for advantages. Typically this method is required if the investor is seeking conventional financing.

Income Capitalization Approach

This valuation method is a short-hand means for real estate investors to determine the value of a property based on its income in comparison to similar properties. Essentially, if the investor knows what prevailing capitalization rates are in a given market for that type of property, he can divide the income generated by the property by the capitalization rate and come up with a sales value as a result.

Shamash said...


After checking a little more, I've about come to the conclusion that the US Census folks don't necessarily expect their data to reflect anything happening in the real world or correspond to anyone else's data.

Their conclusions, however, seem to be a different matter.

And I must have missed the disclaimer.

Unfortunately, so will everyone else and so have all the news headlines I've seen on this so far.

I guess this means the guys at the top are SERIOUSLY pushing magnet schools now (or soon will be) as the way to draw private school students back to public schools.


So there is no real explanation for the large drop in NC private school students and how NC missed that just yet.

(And I'll be darned if I wrestle with state folks over THEIR stats, I already know how that will go).

As for the high private school numbers, apparently the Census includes home schooled with private (even though they later show them separated in a different line of the table).

But those don't really add up to the NC numbers either.

Not even considering a liberal application of the margarine of error (a lot like gubmint cheese but more slippery).

So, it's just a survey, y'all.

But it has gained national attention and has legs of its own.

At least the conclusion:

Charters win, Private schools lose.

Oh well, we'll see. Maybe next week.

Shamash said...

Anon 2:58pm

As I've just said, I don't think the US Census folks expect their data to have any real world applications.

Or to necessarily correspond to anyone else's data, either.


I think you can just safely ignore whatever they say about what's happening.

But I can make a suggestion for your own clarification.

Just make sure you are using the same income cutoff points are the same in actual dollars, not some vague label like "living below poverty".

Because we all know how bureaucrats like to jack with definitions to put things in their favor.

Also, the US gubmint is not concerned about fraud.


If the IRS doesn't care that illegal immigrants are claiming billions in free money from listing extra "dependents" living in Mexico, then they don't care about Free Lunches, either.

And the IRS has already said that they know about THAT and don't care, so who else is watching the till?

Wiley Coyote said...

The poverty number(s) comes from different sources. Pick one.

The Census Bureau reports poverty data from several major household surveys and programs. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) is the source of official national poverty estimates. The American Community Survey (ACS) provides single and multi-year estimates for smaller areas. The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) provides longitudinal estimates. The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program provides model-based poverty estimates for counties and school districts. See Description of Income and Poverty Data Sources to determine which survey or program meets your specific needs.

The fact is CMS and other US school districts don't have a clue as to who truly qualifies for FRL and who does not.

THAT is one irrefutable fact.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Shamash, that was another reason I avoided trying to summarize their home-school conclusions, because I got really confused by references to adding home-schooled kids to private enrollment. That makes no sense at all. You're right -- you don't even get the Census totals for NC by adding the state's private and home numbers. It's just a mystery.

I thought the census study was worth a post because it seemed to be an effort by someone with no obvious agenda to sort through various sources of data and link the numbers to real life. But the discrepancies in NC numbers do raise real questions about the value of this data.

Anonymous said...

I live in Myers Park district , but want to send my child to a LIFT zone school for the free goodies. How do I get that accomplished?

Shamash said...


It was definitely worth a post if for no other reason to show how official-looking misinformation can go viral.

The "conclusion" seems to have been announced in several media outlets with the usual commentary but no look at the data.

I'm not surprised, but, then again, I wish people were just a bit more inquisitive about these things.

And that the Census folks were more interested in confirming their results with outside sources (which they apparently are not).

NC may be an aberration, but it is one of the three states which showed the trend the strongest and was considered significant in this report.

I don't think they have an agenda (other than getting more data), but I think their tentative conclusion is taking on a life of its own.

I can see why you wouldn't want to base a lot on its conjectures.

And it's still just a "working paper" accepting comments and input, so we'll see.

It must have hit a nerve somewhere.

But I'll probably keep checking just out of curiosity.

Anonymous said...

A.K. and Providence

Teaching twice as many kids with three times LESS the resourses. All this while producing the some of the top scores in the state.

Bottom Line


Stop the waste of taxpayer funds with no results!

Anonymous said...

MOrrison and the BofE


Anonymous said...

Shamash, much of the quality of "reporting" you speak of is just the effect of reporting to the low information voters.

Anonymous said...

How about Minority Flight

Dropouts cost the taxpayers of this county tens of millions on welfare and penal system costs.

Teach students a vocation and keep them in school. It will save millions in costs if you have a forward vision.

Just make sure MOrrisson and the Board of Education spend the money wisely.

Shamash said...

Anon 11:02.

Well it is funny that some of the "news" articles I checked which talked about this "phenomenon" as if it were true were met with comments in the comment section from regular folks who thought it sounded false based on their experiences.

Stuff like this rarely passes the smell test from the people who actually live in the areas where it is supposedly happening.

Individually, people don't see this big move from private to charters happening, yet there is still that "headline" out there,
from a "study" that isn't final.

In our case, there is no way a 15K drop in private school could be attributed to charters for another reason.

The charters don't show that large of an increase, either.

Those 15,000 kids just vanished from private schools, apparently.

Also, I would HOPE that the charter schools know where their new students are coming from.

Especially with all the waiting lists they seem to have.

I don't know if they keep a tab on former private school students seeking a charter spot, but it seems to me that they should since they seem to track just about everything else (sex, race, income, etc., etc.)

Anonymous said...

There is NO support for the frontline teacher from MOrrison and his administration

Anonymous said...

I am white and want flight into a LIFT ZONE scholarship handout school. How do I do this white flight? Do I have to teach. My kids how to make excuses? Can I be completely uninvolved in their educational plan? Certainly CMS can bus my kids all over the county. Do I have to stand it the road with my handout? Someone help me I want LIFT CASH!!'!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree 12:22

I am a single mother of 2 boys living in the Ardrey Kell high school zone. I am barely living above the poverty line. If I could send my boys to a LIFT school they would receive 4x the resources now being spent on them and only have 20 other students in the classroom instead of 40.

Ann, what about the students that are not "rich" living in these affluent suburb zones. Why do they have to suffer the lack of spending and resources?

Ann Doss Helms said...

12:22 and 12:28, it's pretty simple. If you really want your kids in a LIFT school with all the attendant resources, move into the West Charlote zone.

If you're more concerned with getting more resources where you are, your best bet is probably getting informed / engaged with the budget planning. There's a new superintendent and he will be looking at new ways of doing things. You may not get exactly what you want, but there have been/will be public forums to speak up.

Anonymous said...

Useless babble Ann

The west zone will still receive over 4x the spending as the suburbs.

This is no help to the "poor" students within these suburb zones. Move to the West Zone? Really?

Is there ever going to be an equitible distribution of taxpayer funds in CMS?

Do you know there are homeless students in the suburb zones?

BolynMcClung said...


…or White Flight becomes Bright Flight becomes Byte Flight!

I wish every school board member would look at the last few postings and Ann's reply.

For years I've tried to make the case that basing student expenditures on Free and Reduced Lunches completely misses the kids in the affluent areas….AND…It grossly mistakes the absolutely brilliant kids in the L.I.F.T zone who don't need remedial help but that CMS lovingly gives them.

To a member (and superintendents) they believe that specialized individual help is available in the affluent zones. And that the assistance rivals WSS.

It ain't so………but the school administrations believe so strongly in "predictive links" that they'll never change the funding. They say they don't believe that black and poor equals stupid………but I can't tell otherwise……..(sorry about the crude term, but that's the only word that makes the point of their illogical assumptions)

I defy anyone to prove that 50,000 children on FRL should all be in the weighted formula that sends 30% more funding into the low wealth areas. What in blazes dumb policy for 30% more spending are they going to put in place when this county's public schools are 80% FRL?

Some who blog here complain about how FRL is calculated. Who gives a rat's a$$? Feed everyone. Or feed no one. Just don't prostitute the numbers.

There is hope for a wiser spending policy and strangely it comes in the form of that Gawd Awful Common Core. CC probably is a very good idea but it's being launched like a submarine with a screen door.

Everyone must have equal online access. I'll make a leap of faith that that means equal access to all technology. God help us if someone decides to Weighted Student Staff the technology effort. We'll go from White Flight to Bright Flight to Byte Flight.

But let's hope that the build-out of technology will be blind.

Bolyn McClung


Wiley Coyote said...


You need to pull your head out of your asinine comments and look at the facts regarding FRL.

To channel "Duh" White and state it doesn't matter how FRL is calculated and "just feed the kids" is reckless. It does matter.

First, there are 75,000 kids in CMS getting FRL, not the 50,000 you state and as sample audits have shown, up to 60% may not qualify based on information provided on applications.

On the one hand you don't care how FRL is calculated but on the other hand you don't want the numbers prostituted.

Take care of those who truly qualify and take the money saved from the fraud and apply it to programs that benefit all children.

By the way, Detroit Public Schools feeds every kids for FREE whether they can afford it or not.

Look at where that has gotten them. Nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Ann, Regarding LIFT zone placement you just dont get it. Neither do you get that Heath is listening. You cannot have a say at these "budget meetings" nor can you get a straight answer. You if anyone should know this. This budget babble is a annual parade of CMS idiots that know nothing about the budgets they propose. Last year I had to (along with a few others) correct and balance the budget they proposed. SHowing me they have no clue what is in front of them that they propose. The "group meetings are babble" to make some supporters of CMS with nop kids in the system feel good. Its made up of Natalie English , Allen Tate folks I mean really make me puke reading the names of "influence" who have no clue of what normal parents deal with daily. Some of them dont even live in the county.

Anonymous said...

The university of Arkansas just released a study of the cost effectiveness of public vs. charter schools. In a nutshell: Both were similarly effective in educating kids, but charters did it at a lower cost, primarily because of bloated central staffs, of which CMS is a poster child.