Although the product may be the same, the cost of these courses is drastically different.
California taxpayers pay about $ 10,300 for each student who attends a Connections Academy school. In contrast, the tuition fee to enroll in Pearson Online Academy is only $ 4,800 for elementary students, $ 5,880 for middle school, and $ 6,880 for high school.
Pearson Online Academy is a private school operated by a multinational for-profit corporation. It is therefore likely that the company will make a profit or that it will shut down. So it appears that even at the highest rate of high school students, California taxpayers are paying a mark-up of at least 35% – about $ 3,500 per student – on top of all costs, including a reasonable profit.
In all of the schools in this chain, California taxpayers now waste more than $ 22 million a year. In other words, if the state of California simply paid all Connections Academy students to attend Pearson’s online private school, taxpayers would save over $ 22 million a year.