In most cases, the cost of contracting with a private provider is straightforward. Contractors may charge an hourly rate or a program rate. In either case, all the costs of the contractor are usually boiled down into a single rate or price. This includes, for example, the costs of benefits, insurance, and transportation for the teacher-contractor. The cost of supplies are also often included.

Because the provider's cost is clear from the outset, school administrators work with more certainty in the budgeting and decision-making process when it comes to planning instructional programs.

Moreover, schools usually pay only for contact hours between the contractor and the student(s). Companies such as Learning Styles and Ready Go, for example (see Case Study #6), base their fee schedule on an hourly basis. Under such a scenario, schools do not pay for "downtime" such as prep-periods, lunch and coffee breaks, and vacation periods, but only for the services they actually receive, and they know in advance exactly what those services well cost.