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What Is the Cost of Planning and Implementing Early College High School?

Michael Webb

On behalf of the Finance Working Group of the Early College High School Initiative, JFF's Michael Webb undertook to determine the costs of planning and implementing these new institutions spanning high school and college. The pilot study looked at actual budgets developed for several types of current and planned early college high schools. It suggests that costs for early college high schools appear to be on par with those of regular public high schools, within significant limitations to comparing such different institutions and the variety of school designs emerging in the initiative. If the preliminary data on costs are borne out in the next several years of the initiative, investments in early college high school actually buy much more, providing students with the opportunity to earn significant college credit while in high school.