Senate school budget creates room for more competition

Detroit News Editorial:

With the district facing a $400 million deficit — roughly one-third of its total budget — a careful accounting of how it is using its money would seem to be in order.
“That’s a fairly significant gift for the district of Detroit for which we get nothing in return,” Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, Senate Education Committee chairman, said after he voted no on the plan. “We get no deficit reduction plan, no power to audit the district.”
But in truth, the introduction of more high-quality charters is the best education reform Detroit parents could ask for from the Legislature. It will force Detroit school district to either fix itself or wither away.
Parents who have an alternative will not keep their children in failing schools. This is, in effect, a last chance for Detroit to get it right.

The article implies that Detroit spends about $1.2 Billion to educate around 100,000 students annually (roughly 12K per student). Madison’s 2008-2009 current budget is $367M spends $15,156 per student.