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The Actual Cost of International Baccalaureate Programs

In the education reform circles, the true cost of International Baccalaureate (IB) has been difficult, if not impossible, to establish because no one source accounts for all expenditures and incidentals related to the program. In order to calculate an estimated cost for the International Baccalaureate programs in the United States, we need to look at information from many sources.

Recently, a source surfaced who works for Anne Arundel County Schools in Maryland in the Information Technology department. This person wishes to remain unidentified because he fears for his job and other retaliation. The verbal source gave an off-the-top estimate of “at least $200,000” per year per school for the IB program alone. This is in a county with most, if not all, schools in some phase of the IB process, including elementary schools. The general rule of thumb is if the high school is in any phase of the process, so are the feeder schools to that high school.

Actual fees and costs assessed by International Baccalaureate are listed on the IB Official web page. The documents can be found here and here. These links do not include incidental costs stemming from various mandates of the International Baccalaureate contracts such as administrative support, support, training seminars and travel costs.

These figures are presented by current and former school district employees from all over the United States. These documents can be found here and here.  These links include estimates for the increased costs in hiring more administrators, teachers, support staff, international phone bills, training seminars, travel and lodging. Most of the training is out of state and in many cases out of country so the travel costs can be quite high.

Some of the funding sources for International Baccalaureate and its ties to United Nations can are written about here

Cost Calculation

Using an average figure from the actual costs of about $150,000-$200,000 per year per school, we can multiply that number by the number of IB World Schools in the United States, which is 1,456 at the time of this writing . IB is increasing their number of schools quickly, so it is entirely probably by the time the reader checks this link the number of IB World Schools in the US will have increased.

On the low-end costs can be conservatively be estimated at:
$150,ooo x 1,456 (number of IB Schools in the US) = $218,400,000

And on the high-end costs can be estimated at:
$200,000 x 1,456 (number of IB Schools in the US) = $291,200,000

The International Baccalaureate (IB) does not list applicant schools or schools in the system that haven’t been fully accredited as IB World Schools. As a rule of thumb, for each high school most of the feeder schools are also in the applicant or candidate phase. The feeder schools are also incurring these costs according to the power point presentations listed per school and per year. So, if we assume there is one elementary, one middle and one high school in every district, we can estimate the minimum number of feeder schools by multiplying three or four to get the following figures:

On the low-end for a conservative estimate:
$218,400,000 x 3 = $655,200,000

And on the higher-end for a conservative estimate:
$291,200,000 x 4 = $1,664,800,000

The cost of this program could be amounting to over $1 billion dollars. 

These figures have been calculated using figures from the International Baccalaureate official page www.ibo.org and also with special thanks and permission at www.TruthAboutIB.com.

Categories: Education
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