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the same level as the IRS mileage deduction, now about 32.5 cents a mile. 51 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems The discussion above does not describe the adequacy of funding for charter school
transportation, regardless of whether it is provided by the school or district. Due to
geographic dispersion, charter school students are probably more expensive to transport
than regular students. Magnet schools in public school districts also carry these higher
transportation costs, as do desegregation plans. If charter schools provide or contract for
transportation, the school absorbs the higher transportation cost. Allowing charter schools
a choice about providing transportation is partly an acknowledgment of the potential
impracticality of providing transportation through traditional means both for charter
schools and for school districts.
Other State Categorical Programs
Although a source of controversy and uncertainty, “other state categorical” programs
generally represent very small pools of money. Among all of the charter school states
studied, California distributed the most money through other state categorical programs,
averaging about $520 per pupil.30 On the other hand, all but four charter school states
distributed less than $50 per pupil in other state categorical aid as listed in Table 13. The
table includes only those categorical programs for which charter schools should routinely
get funding. Funding for adult education, preschool and like programs is not included.
“Other” state categorical funding also excludes special education, low-income,
transportation, vocational education and food service funding.
TABLE 13 Other State Categorical Funding1
More than $50 Less than $50 Integrated Into Perpupil Funding
Calculation California ($520),
Florida ($200), Georgia
($160), Illinois ($180) Alaska, Arizona, Colorado,
Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas,
Milwaukee, Minnesota, New
Jersey, New Mexico, South
Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin District of Columbia,2
Island 1 “Other” excludes special education, low-income, transportation, vocational education, adult education, preschool and food service
funding. 2 Only one school district in state. Categorical funding questions resemble those arising in federal funding for charter schools.
Can a charter school qualify for funding on its own, or does it get a share of the local
school district’s allocation? Is there enough funding to justify the effort needed to get it
and the accountability that may go with the funding? Because the awarding of grants is
discretionary, controversy engendered by the outsider status of charter schools may arise as
well. In Louisiana, for instance, a district-chartered school’s competitive grant application
30 Includes school improvement program, LEP, instructional materials, class size reduction, mentor teacher
state compensatory education and others. Ex...
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- Spring '09