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are funded at the same level as an average district school regardless of the charters’
programs or student characteristics.
At-Risk Students: Funding for at-risk students amounts to about $95 per pupil enrolled.
Bilingual: The state does not provide additional funds for bilingual education.
Transportation: School districts receive state transportation funding based on factors such as number of pupils, fuel costs and number of buses. Charter schools receive school district
average transportation funding, since it is a component of operating funds, and can spend
the transportation money for any legitimate purpose. For the school districts profiled in the
following table, the transportation component of state aid ranged from $144 to $174 per
enrolled pupil. Additional funds from local revenue supplement the state aid. Charter
schools are required to provide a transportation plan for their students. The plan could
consist of car pools or other alternative methods of transportation.
Capital Outlay and Facilities Financing: Charter schools have no access to the facilities financing or debt service funds of school districts. North Carolina includes a small amount
of capital outlay spending in the average per-pupil operating funds used to derive charter
school funding. North Carolina expanded the mandate of the Educational Facilities
Finance Agency to include any “nonprofit institution within the State of North Carolina
authorized by law and engaged or to be engaged in the providing of kindergarten,
elementary, or secondary education, or any combination thereof.” Including charter
schools in the act may open the door to tax-exempt financing for charter school facilities.
To date, the authority has not been willing to actually issue any bonds for charter schools.
State Start-Up Assistance: None.
Timing of Payments: Charter schools begin receiving state funds after the general assembly passes a budget. Funds are received as early as July 1 of each year. Charter school
allocations are made one week after the initial allotments are distributed to school districts. Appendix 165 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems Uniform Financial Reporting: Charter schools must comply with reporting requirements from the state’s Uniform Education Reporting System.
Independent Financial Audit: Required.
Ownership of and Disposition of Assets: Charter schools are not permitted to use state funds to purchase land or buildings but may use local funds (which average about $1,000
per student) and private sources. Upon dissolution or non-renewal of the charter school, all
assets of the charter school become assets of the local school district in which the charter
school was located.
Teacher Retirement: The charter school board decides whether to participate in the teacher retirement system; in 1998-99, 16 out of 57 charter schools participated in the teacher
retirement system. 166 Appendix North Carolina North Carolina
Total FTE enrollment Basic Elementary
100 Middle Cost K-12
100 Urban At-Risk
100 a Components of state allotment
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- Spring '09