Are Charters the Best Alternative? A Cost Frontier Analysis of Alternative Education Campuses in Texas
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© 2017 by the Southern Economic Association Previous research on the relative efficiency of charter schools focused on schools that serve a general student population. In Texas, as in many other states, some charter schools have been designed specifically to serve students who are at risk of dropping out of school. Such “alternative education campuses” may have very different cost and efficiency profiles than schools designed to serve students in regular education programs. In this article, we estimate a translog stochastic cost frontier model using panel data for alternative public high school campuses in Texas over the five-year period 2007–2011, and find that alternative education high school campuses operated by charter schools are systematically more efficient than alternative education high school campuses operated by traditional public school districts. Policies that encourage the formation of alternative education charter campuses may thus be a sensible component of strategies to combat the pervasive and pernicious problem of high school dropouts.
author list (cited authors)
Gronberg, T. J., Jansen, D. W., & Taylor, L. L.