The United Teachers of Los Angeles hired an independent research firm to analyze the true cost of charter schools to the school district.

The firm, MGT of America, was free to reach its own conclusions.

Its report concluded that charters are costing the Los Angeles Unified School District nearly $600 million a year in lost revenue.

A report by MGT of America, an independent research firm, reveals that LAUSD has lost an astonishing $591 million to unmitigated charter school growth this year alone. If costs associated with charter school expansion are not mitigated with common sense solutions, the district will face financial insolvency, according to an analysis of the report.

As the number of independent charter schools continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important for LAUSD to quantify, forecast, and manage the costs associated with independent charter expansion. LAUSD oversees more charter schools than any other district in the country. Charters are privately managed despite relying heavily on district and taxpayer funding.

Taken together, the findings in the report paint a picture of a system that prioritizes the growth opportunities for charter school operators over the educational opportunities for all students.

As Massachusetts and Georgia voters prepare to vote on whether to expand the number of charters, they should be fully informed that more money for charters means budget cuts for public schools. Budget cuts for public schools mean larger class sizes, fewer teachers, fewer programs for the schools that serve the majority of students.

As the charter sector continues to expand, because of false promises to parents about their “success” (even before the school opens), the public school system that has been a foundational element in American democracy is threatened by loss of funding and privatization.