Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

In states like michigan and louisiana school

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Unformatted text preview: districts provide all transportation funding from general operating revenues. Consequently, charter school transportation funding is comparable in Michigan and Louisiana even if there is no special revenue stream for transportation and even if transportation is not provided. About 75 percent of states provide comparable transportation funding or services. Pennsylvania is the only state where charter school students clearly get more transportation services because they are entitled to transportation outside school district lines in some circumstances. District-authorized charter schools in Arizona get lucrative transportation funding, but state-authorized charter schools do not. In Connecticut and several other states, charter schools get transportation from school districts, so funding is judged as comparable even though state aid covers only part of the cost. The second to the last category concerns capital funding comparability. Arizona is the only state where charter schools get more capital funding than equivalent public schools, primarily because charter schools are funded like small school districts, not like the school districts in which they are located. A footnote identifies states where charter schools have access to some capital funding, but not necessarily to the entire range of capital funding available for school districts. About half of the states provide no financial assistance for facilities. The final row addresses the issue of charter school payments to the public employee retirement systems. Teacher retirement system payments are similar to school district transportation and special education costs paid from general operating funds. In states where charter school teachers must belong to the state teacher retirement system, funding is judged comparable. In states where charter schools can opt out of the retirement system, charter schools can divert revenue typically used for employee benefits to other purposes. Reading across the rows provides a good summary of how the bulleted points included at the start of this chapter play out across the states. When differences in responsibilities are taken into account, base per-pupil revenue is essentially comparable between charter schools and school districts. Grade level funding is skewed to give charter elementary schools an advantage over traditional elementary schools in 13 states. These same 13 states place charter high schools at a disadvantage. A dozen of the states provide comparative funding disadvantages to charter schools with higher concentrations of special education students or with special education students with greater degrees of disability. These same systems provide charter schools with funding advantages when they have fewer special education students than the district average or have fewer students with greater degrees of disability. The one area where charter schools are consistently left at a disadvantage compared to traditional districts is capital finance. Only Arizona provides more generous funding to...
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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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