Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

Except in milwaukee all charter schools are subject

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Unformatted text preview: ichigan, schools operated by private management contractors may be exempted from important aspects of uniform financial reporting that are normally required of public schools. § Except in Milwaukee, all charter schools are subject to an independent financial audit either on its own or as an entity of a school district. The lack of uniformity and detail in independent financial audits, however, seriously limits their usefulness for many aspects of financial accountability. (See Table 18.) § Charter schools may acquire debt in all states except Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico and Wisconsin—states where school districts charter schools and generally provide facilities. (See Table 19.) § The disposition of assets of closed charter schools represents an issue not clearly addressed in many charter school laws. Four states do not allow charter schools to own assets. In nine states, assets revert to the school district or to the state. In the remaining states, assets disposition is left to the charter school’s governing board. In most states, management companies will probably be allowed to keep assets that had been used to operate the closed charter school. (See Table 21.) § Charter schools must participate in the state teacher retirement system in 12 states, and participation exceeds 75 percent in all remaining states except Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Michigan and North Carolina. (See Tables 24 and 25.) 6 Introduction CHAPTER 1 Introduction Charter school legislation seeks to grant greater fiscal and educational autonomy to schools in exchange for greater accountability for student achievement. Charter school concepts also include empowering teachers or parents within schools, decentralizing and redemocratizing local education, reinvigorating community structures and creating competitive institutions that will bring market forces to bear on other public schools. The survival and health of the charter school movement, however, may be determined more by questions about financing than by issues of autonomy or student achievement. More charter schools have failed for financial reasons than academic ones. Funding partly determines who wants charters, who gets charters and what charter schools do. Inadequate resources wound charter schools in the competition to succeed, but if charter schools are funded too well compared to other public schools, competition with other public schools can also be viewed as unfair. If the market model becomes the dominant paradigm for charter schools, then charter schools and school districts need to follow the same rules (Arsen, Plank and Sykes, 1999). Most research reveals that the charter school community believes that financing represents the greatest obstacle to their success. Each year, the report of the National Study of Charter Schools (RPP, 1997, 1998, 1999,2000), commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, has found that three of the top four significant barriers charter schools reported facing all relate to finances: lack of start-up funds, inadequate operating funds, and inadequate facilities. A Hudson Institute study (Finn, et al., 1...
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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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