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Unformatted text preview: on, student health, after-school programs, professional
development of faculty, technology and instructional materials. In some states, school
districts are supposed to pass along funds for these functions to charter schools, while other
states directly fund charter schools for categorical programs. In some instances, school
districts provide the services directly to charter schools.
School districts in some states are responsible for providing services to persons not
regularly enrolled in their schools, such as transportation and textbooks for private schools,
and adult education. Before analyzing charter school funding issues, it is important to
examine the educational goals of the charter. For example, should a charter school receive
adult education, special education or preschool funding if its mission (as expressed in the
charter) relates only to elementary education? This section of Chapter 4 provides an indepth look at how these issues play out in transportation funding. A brief overview of other
categorical funding concludes this section.
Student transportation proves to be one of the more problematic finance issues for charter
schools. Transportation often proves a barrier to the exercise of choice, especially for poor
students. The transportation costs of charter schools obviously are higher than
transportation serving a system of neighborhood schools even if school districts provide
transportation for charter school students on regular bus routes. Legislatures should be
concerned about imposing high-cost charter school transportation on school districts
without also providing extra funding.
Transportation generally emerges as the single largest categorical funding item unless
special education is funded as a categorical program. For example, using 1994 data, state
transportation funding in Connecticut averaged $36.4 million, covering approximately 30
percent of the transportation costs of school districts. All other state categorical programs,
including aid to parochial schools was less than $14 million (Martin and Brewer, 1995). A
major charter school issue centers on whether school districts or charter schools are
responsible for providing these services. Questions sometimes arise as to how funding for
transportation works for students traveling across school district lines to attend charter
schools. Poor children are more likely to depend on bus transportation for a variety of
reasons. Subtle issues of charter school selectivity become important when no
transportation, other than car pools, is available to charter school students. Several states
have directly addressed the issue of transporting low-income children to charter schools. In 48 Overview of Charter School Funding some areas, mass transportation is available and charter schools provide funds for students
to use it.
TABLE 11 Responsibility for Transportation
School Districts Provide
Transportation1 Charter Schools Have
Responsibilities No Transportation
Required Connecticut,2 District of
Columbia,3 Hawaii, 3
New Jersey, New Mexico, 3
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin3 Delaware,4 Florida,5
Illinois, 5North Carolina, 5
South Carolina5 Alaska,6 Arizona,
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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.
- Spring '09