American Spectator board member and staunch libertarian, Bob Luddy, is transforming education one school at a time. Watch the video from Reason.tv about how little money per student it can take to create amazing educational outcomes.
Hints: Small classroom size doesn’t matter. Big sports fields don’t matter. Certified teachers don’t matter.
Another way Thales saves money is by spending significantly less on infrastructure than the public system. In 2013, the town of Rolesville, North Carolina got a new public high school that cost $76 million. A year later, Thales opened a $9 million high school two-and-a-half miles away. Though much smaller, when divided by the number of students each building can accommodate, the Thales school cost half as much. One difference is that Rolesville High School has tennis courts, a football field, and a baseball diamond. “Modern day public schools,” says Luddy, look more like “sports complexes.”
Thales schools also have no auditoriums because they’re too expensive to build, heat, and cool.
Another savings is on personnel. There’s no cafeteria, and thus no cafeteria staff. There are no school buses, and thus no school bus drivers. There’s also hardly any support staff, and fewer actual teachers. Thales targets a teacher to student ratio of about 26 to one, compared to one teacher for every 15 kids in North Carolina’s traditional public schools.
Go watch the whole thing. It’s innovation that makes economic sense and has excellent outcomes.