Ramon Dourado, CEO of Futures of Education, parent company of Halstrom Academy speaks with Bob Gourley on his radio show "Issues Today" regarding the differences between private schools teaching through 1:1 instruction and charter schools.
To listen to the interview, click here.
Private schools are held to a strict set of standards, but because they do not receive federal, state or local public funding, they are not required to adhere to the same regulations that govern public schools. This allows private schools to be more specialized in terms of the curriculum offered, the manner in which it is offered, such as Halstrom’s one-to-one education model. While private schools are not tuition free, many offer scholarships and tuition-reduction options for families with limited financial resources.
Halstrom Academy, a private school in Southern California and online, has positively impacted its students for the past 28 years by delivering a curriculum accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges through a one-to-one instruction model. Halstrom provides students with essential skills to succeed inside and outside of the classroom by offering one-to-one instruction to helps them maximize their classroom and individual learning styles, and flexible scheduling options for actors, athletes, professionals, and students who wish to learn on their own schedule. Halstrom’s technology-enriched learning environment utilizes iPads loaded with etextbooks and learning apps for those with learning disabilities, social anxiety and those that may need a more individualized approach to learning.
Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that are a part of the public educational system. While these schools are held to federal and state standards, they are granted more flexibility and are held accountable for producing certain results set forth in the school’s charter. Charter schools are funded by local, state and federal tax dollars as well as private donations, and therefore tuition is free.
Each charter school has its own unique way of operating and is open to any student who wishes to enroll. Charter schools are allowed to innovate in ways that improve student achievement such as offering:
- Non-traditional operating hours
- Customized curriculum
- Learning models utilizing technology
- Creating a culture based on a particular focus or theme.
By law, each public school must accept all children who live within a school’s or school-system’s designated district area. But this doesn’t always mean the school can offer students all of the educational resources they need. Many public schools do not have funding to help students with special needs or learning issues that require a more complex teaching process. Also, school districts that have “school choice” policies may require parents to enter a lottery to gain admission to their chosen school, and many public districts in more densely populated areas make some schools competitive to enroll in based on students’ GPAs, athletic abilities or artistic talents.
Everyone benefits from more choices in education. Charter Schools are tuition free and offer innovative solutions that improve many educational challenges that exist within public schools.
Private Schools, while not tuition free, offer additional flexibility and more targeted educational solutions designed for specific needs of targeted populations. In any case, parents, students, and teachers can rest assured that they don’t have to settle for one-size fits all when it comes to where they spend their school days. For more information and how to locate a charter school in California, click here. For a list of private schools in California click here.
In September, the U.S. Department of Education published a new report that raises important concerns as we think about the goal of preparing all students for college and their careers.
The findings from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) fall 2010 data collection and examines the price of postsecondary attendance. This report shows a substantial increase over the past decade in average tuition; for example, the report cites a 47 percent increase for in-state students and 35 percent for out-of-state students at 4-year public postsecondary institutions. The average tuition and required fees for in-state students who attended these institutions in 2010-2011 is about $6,800 per year and $15,700 for out-of-state students. Factoring in housing costs (i.e., living on campus), the report cites an average price of attending a public institution of approximately $19,500 per year for in-state students and $28,900 for out-of-state students. (Tuition at nearly every other type of postsecondary institution increased substantially as well.)
To put these figures into context, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income in the United States was $49,445 in 2010. Indeed, median income is moving in the opposite direction of college costs; it declined 2.3 percent from the 2009 median. On the other hand, poverty rates have increased; there were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009. The Census Bureau reports that this is the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.
The bottom line is that the cost of attending college is getting higher at a time when family and state budgets are getting tighter. As we think about the goal of preparing all students for college and career, a critical question arises: How well prepared are students and their families to pay the price of college?
Usually when the U.S. Department of Education (ED) gets mentioned in this column, it's a complaint. But if you mention the bad you ought to mention the good as well, so in the spirit of that is this news about an initiative from ED that many students, including eLearners, may find very welcome indeed.
Specifically, it's a new "College Cost" section of the ED web site. In 2008, the renewal of the Higher Education Opportunity Act included the requirement that ED make information available on the relative costs of getting a college education at various schools, and this is what they came up with to fulfill that requirement.
There are actually three tools here. One is a list of for-profit institutions that gain more than 90% of their revenue from federal financial aid programs. This is important because that's against the rules, and if those institutions don't stay below the 90% threshold the following year, their students become ineligible to participate for two years — a death sentence for many schools.
Another tool here is a list of state spending charts, where you can find out how much your state is spending on education.
The third tool, and the most fun, is the College Affordability and Transparency Center. It describes itself this way:
Here you will find information about tuition and net prices at postsecondary institutions. The site highlights institutions with high and low tuition and fees as well as high and low net prices (the price of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid). It also shows institutions where tuition and fees and net prices are increasing at the highest rates.
Playing around with it uncovers all sorts of information. Useful for eLearners, it even allows one to search just for tuition rates, and not include room and board which eLearners aren't going to buy. An interesting fact that this tool reveals is that the national average tuition rate for non-profit schools is $21,324 per year, while the national average tuition rate for for-profit schools is significantly lower at $15,661.
So if you're in the market to apply to a college or university, check this new site out. It's definitely worth a look!