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on a concentration factor. As the proportion of at-risk students increases in a school, the
per-pupil funding grows larger. Table 7 contains information on the amount of funding that
follows an at-risk student to a charter school in a number of different states. It also contains
a column “amount per member” which describes at-risk funding per member (not per atrisk student) in schools with an at-risk population equal to the state average.
Funding the higher costs of educating at-risk youth raises many of the same concerns as
the funding of special education. States failing to provide extra funds for special needs and
high-cost students create financial incentives for charter holders to avoid high-cost
students. The lottery-driven, open admissions process required of charter schools in most
states mitigates the impact of these incentives. Conversely, charter schools serving at-risk
students face substantial economic obstacles. 43 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems TABLE 7 At-risk and Low-income Funding for Charter Schools, Selected States
California1,2 $200 $40 na 500 142 na 767 613 0.080 300 100 0.115 685 206 na 490 133 0.080 na 185 0.260 450 181 0.200 867 416 na 250 12 Colorado
Minnesota 3 New Mexico 5 South Carolina
Texas Amount Per
Member na 3 Illinois Amount Per Atrisk Pupil 2
6 Wisconsin Source: Based on middle cost K-12 charter school profiled in the appendix.
1 Compensatory education. 2 California and Texas base funding on ADA, which offsets at-risk funding by the extent to which at-risk students have
lower attendance rates. 3 State average; actual amount varies. 4 Supplemental general state aid in Chicago. No other districts with charter schools currently qualify for supplemental
general state aid. 5 Based on school district index. 6 At-risk and low-income pre-K to grade 5 programs. Funding Based on Geography
In most states, charter school revenues vary based on the specific district in which the
school is located. In states where charter schools serve students across school district lines,
funding is generally based on the students’ district of residence. Minnesota and
Connecticut are exceptions to this rule, with most charter schools receiving funding from
the state funding formula regardless of their locations. Michigan charter school funding
matches the school district’s foundation allowance up to a maximum of about $6,000.
The desirable linkage between charter school and school district funding helps charter
schools benefit from state efforts to adjust school district funding for isolation, small size
and cost of living. If charter school funding were not linked to school district funding, then
charter school operators would be encouraged to search for locations with a financial
advantage over other public schools. On the other hand, tax effort and wealth inequities
among school districts are also passed on to charter schools. Under this equally onerous
incentive system, families in the most disadvantaged school districts may be the least
likely to find a charter school alternati...
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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