Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

In 1998 99 a separate appropriation from congress

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Unformatted text preview: aid for all school districts in a state, all districts lose state aid on a per-pupil basis as a result of students moving from private schools to either school districts or charter schools.15 14 This generalization does not apply to the District of Columbia and some school districts in Connecticut. In 1998-99, a separate appropriation from Congress supported a majority of District of Columbia charter school funding. A system of state aid minimums protects most Connecticut schools from losing state aid for any reason. 15 The only exceptions to this generalization among the states examined in this report are the District of Columbia and Hawaii, where there is only one school district in the state, and North Carolina and Delaware, 33 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems For states with foundation funding (all except Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii and North Carolina), charter schools’ base per-pupil funding flows from school districts to charter schools in one of two different ways: Method 1: Charter school students are counted in the enrollment of the school district for state aid purposes, and § The district pays the full amount of charter school base per-pupil funding to charter schools, or § The state subtracts the full amount of charter school base per-pupil funding from state aid payments to the school district, and then pays charter schools, or § The state subtracts the average state aid per pupil from state aid payments to the school district, and sends the subtracted amount to charter schools. School districts pay charter schools the average local revenue per pupil. The two payments together equal the full amount of per-pupil funding. Method 2: Charter school students are no longer counted in the enrollment of school districts. State aid to school districts is reduced, generally by the full amount of the foundation allowance.16 The state then provides the full amount of charter school base per-pupil funding to charter schools, usually on the same basis as it guarantees a foundation level of spending for school districts. Under either method, transition aid for school districts (e.g., Massachusetts) or state aid minimums or guarantees (e.g., Connecticut) may temporarily stem the outflow of funds from school districts. The impact of the two methods on school districts and charter schools ultimately turns out to be quite similar. A closer look at how funding works for students transferring from school districts to charter schools under Method 1 and students transferring from private schools to charter schools under Method 2 will illustrate this point. In California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, and several other states, charter school students are still counted as pupils of their school districts for purposes of calculating state aid (Method 1), and then all charter school base per-pupil funding moves with the students to charter schools. In California, Colorado, Florida and a few other states, the school district directly pays charter schools. In New Jersey and Rhode Island, charter schools receive separat...
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