Some of the toughest testimony at Wednesday’s D.C. Council education budget hearing was criticism of the relatively low per-pupil spending at DCPS’ open-enrollment high schools. In a statement, DCPS spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz cited two reasons: size and flexibility.

“Our high schools are best able to achieve economies of scale, meaning they are able to find efficiencies in service by virtue of staffing large teacher corps, which reduces overall cost,” Salmanowitz said.

“Second, high school programming is such that it allows for greater flexibility in class sizes, unlike, for example, our early childhood education (Pre-S and Pre-K), which is subject to strict federal limitations on class size and staffing requirements (minimum two adults in every classroom).”