This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: ,000 per pupil from a school
district may be no better funded than one that received $3,000 from a school district, if in
the latter case the district was responsible for providing transportation, professional
development and special education. 31 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems Only two states base funding on state averages. Minnesota uses a revenue-based model,
where charter schools build funding driven by a student-weighting system around the state
average foundation level. Connecticut sets base funding at an even $6,500 (by coincidence,
approximately equal to the state average general fund expenditure per pupil) including
local option taxes.
Several states leave charter school funding decisions to the school districts that charter
them. Sometimes, state law guarantees charter schools the same funding they would
receive as regular district schools through the district’s budget allocation formula. Since
many district-authorized charter schools serve at-risk children or offer specialized
programs, negotiations between school districts and charter schools are often a big part of
the funding process.
Dual Funding Systems
Of the 23 states examined in this study, seven fund charter schools in more than one way.
§ Connecticut. The formula for state-authorized charter schools provides about $6,500
per pupil. District-authorized charter schools are funded uniquely according to
arrangements specified in the charter.
§ Massachusetts. Commonwealth schools receive a preset “tuition” based on average
school district spending that follows pupils from their district of residence. Chartered by
school districts, Horace Mann schools receive funding on the same basis as any other
school in the district or as otherwise specified in the charter. Horace Mann charter schools
may appeal school district funding decisions to the state board of education.
§ Wisconsin. Milwaukee is covered under a separate state law that allows universities,
technical colleges and the city of Milwaukee to grant charters. Funding in Milwaukee is
based on per-pupil “average shared cost,” which is determined by taking the total operating
cost, subtracting state and federal restricted program funding and adding district debt
retirement costs. In the rest of Wisconsin, school districts grant charters and fund charter
schools on the same basis as the funding of any other school, or as otherwise specified in
§ Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan and Texas also provide for district-authorized charter
schools funded under arrangements agreed to in the charter. In Arizona, school districts
authorize autonomous charter schools located outside of the district boundaries similar to
the autonomous charter schools authorized by the state.
To simplify the exposition of findings, this study ignores district-authorized charter
schools in Michigan and Texas where the number of such schools remains small. Horace
Mann charter schools and district-authorized charter schools in Connecticut and Louisiana
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/11/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at Harvard.
- Spring '09