Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

Authorizing 1 subsequent reports of the national

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Unformatted text preview: ny states receive no specific financial assistance for facilities. Authorizing 1 Subsequent reports of the National Charter School Finance Study will examine the actual amounts of funding received by charter schools and schools districts in six states and probe the financial effects charter schools and school districts have on each other. 1 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems school districts generally provide facilities in Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico and Wisconsin. (See Table 23.) § A few states (e.g., Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas and Wisconsin) leave charter school funding decisions to the school districts that charter them. Generally based on the district’s standard budget and facilities allocation formulas, districts provide funding for the specific needs of charter schools including higher costs associated with particular programs, grade levels or student populations. § Negotiations between school districts and charter schools play a major role in funding in Alaska, California, Colorado and Illinois. However, negotiation also plays a role in most other states, usually in cases where school districts provide legally mandated services such as transportation or special education assessment. § Location is a critical financial issue for charter schools. Charter school funding varies with the financial characteristics of the school district in which it is physically located, or the school districts in which charter school students reside. Connecticut, Minnesota and a majority of schools in Arizona are exceptions. (See Tables 8 and 9.) § Most or all per-pupil funding flows with students from school districts to charter schools in almost all states. Whether charter schools are funded through state appropriations, or payments directly from school districts, makes little difference in regard to school district revenue transferred to charter schools. § About half of the states in our study fund elementary students in charter schools at the same level as high school students, even though high school students probably cost more to serve. This policy encourages the development of elementary charter schools. (See Table 4.) § Special education remains a contentious funding issue. Six states base funding for special education on average school district special education spending or revenue, rather than the specific needs of students enrolled in the charter school. This system discourages charter schools from serving high-cost special education students; charter schools serving only low-cost special education students reap a windfall. Other states link special education funding to the actual cost of special education students, either through a pupil weighting formula or negotiations. Like school districts, charter schools still need to draw on general operating revenue to fund some special education. (See Table 5.) § A majority of states provide additional funding to charter schools for at-risk students either directly, or through school district negotiations. (See Table 6.) Funding varies widely, rangi...
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