Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

52 overview of charter school funding has to pass

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Unformatted text preview: cludes lottery funds, COLA and economic impact aid, funds for which charter schools may also qualify. 52 Overview of Charter School Funding has to pass through the school district to be considered by the state. This has been a source of concern, because some charter holders feel that school district officials will favor applications from other public schools in the district. Charter schools in some states capture a share of the host district’s categorical funding whether or not they provide the specific programs generating that funding. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island all include state-funded categorical programs in the calculation of per-pupil base funding. Other states disqualify charter schools from receiving funding through certain categorical programs. Minnesota prohibits its charter schools from applying for grants for which a local levy is required, such as integration, community and adult education programs.31 Whether charter schools should be required to use categorical funding for the specific program purposes of the funding stream raises both philosophical and financial questions. The crux of the issue is the trade-off between flexibility for charter schools and the desire of states to see that particular educational priorities are addressed. Categorical dollars generally come with strings, and schools using this funding usually are expected to meet certain goals such as installation of new computer software or the provision of mentors for new teachers. In many instances, categorical funding promotes the redirection of other school funds to a specific program. Yet, the charter school concept is generally antithetical to the rules and regulations that go with categorical funding. In addition, the reporting requirements for grant applications might be onerous for small charter schools operating with minimal administrative support. 31 These programs amount to less than 2 percent of total state and local funding (Mueller et al., 1995). In 1999 the law was changed to give charter schools access to the state share. 53 Start-Up Assistance CHAPTER 5 Start-up Assistance Many studies identify inadequate start-up funding as a barrier for charter school creation. Some of the oldest charter schools obtained no start-up funding from state or federal sources. The advent of federal planning and implementation funds alleviated some of the concern over start-up funding. Despite substantial federal financial assistance, the most recent national survey of charter schools (RPP, 2000) reports that the lack of start-up funds remains the number one implementation difficulty of start-up charter schools, followed by inadequate operating funds, lack of planning time and inadequate facilities. Even in an otherwise well-conceived and fairly funded charter school finance system, the absence of start-up funding for textbooks, computers and equipment quickly disadvantages charter schools. On the other hand, it may be smart to require prospective char...
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at Harvard.

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