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received from the state. The administration at the Academy of the Pacific Rim, according
to its annual report, made a conscious decision not to do extensive fundraising; and overall,
four of nine schools with data raised revenue from private sources equal to less than 2
percent of the tuition received. Three other charter schools raised funding from private
sources equal to between 5 percent and 12 percent of tuition revenue.
A review of six audits conducted in Florida revealed a similar range of private support.38
Two schools reported receiving no private funding. One small school for at-risk students
reported private funding amounting to 17 percent of revenues. The other three reported
private fundraising amounting to between 2.7 percent and 5.5 percent of total revenues,
again showing that the reliance of charter schools on private funding may be overstated.
Private funding may help knit communities to schools, which is sometimes mentioned as
an important goal of the charter school experiment. Yet the issue of private financing for
36 Private funding from individuals or foundations is not separately reported in federal data collections and is
usually recorded as local or miscellaneous revenue. Information is available for Massachusetts from
preliminary work on subsequent tasks of the National Charter School Finance Study. Based on state uniform
financial reporting, we calculate that “private funding” totaled $8 per pupil in the host school districts of
charter schools in 1997-98. Based on audited financial statements, charter schools averaged $147 in private
foundation funding and $140 from fundraising and donations.
The schools examined were the SABIS International School, Neighborhood House Charter School,
Lawrence Family Development Charter School, Francis W. Parker Charter School, Community Day Charter
School, City on a Hill Charter School, Chelmsford Public Charter School, Atlantis Charter School, Boston
Renaissance Charter School and the Academy of the Pacific Rim.
The Florida schools examined were the Orange Avenue Charter School, Rays of Hope Charter School,
Okaloosa Academy, Micanopy Charter School, Academie Da Vinci Charter School and the One Room
School House. 80 Other Financial Issues charter schools raises many public policy questions. When charter schools rely on private
funding to be successful, it may signal that too few resources are devoted to traditional
public education. Reliance on private financing could also indicate that charter schools
receive insufficient public funds or that charter schools are not financially viable when
supported solely by public funds. The concept of public education itself may be threatened
when private funding brings private advantages. Such an arrangement exists in Florida
where employers that provide facilities can reserve slots for children of their employees.
This increasingly controversial issue affects all aspects of public education, not just charter
schools, as reflected in debates over corporate sponsorships, vending rights, advertising in
educational programming, and the conflict over school to work programs. 81 Comparability of Charter School and School District Funding CHAPTER 9 Compar...
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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