Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

Some states use qualification for federal programs

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Unformatted text preview: tudents Most states provide more funding for the higher costs of educating at-risk students. While states define at-risk status in various ways, poverty is generally the major determinant. Most commonly, enrollment in free- and reduced-price lunch programs is used to determine at-risk status. Some states use qualification for federal programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children to define poverty. Some argue that charter schools “cream” the easiest students to educate. To prevent creaming based on income, Louisiana mandates that charter schools have a proportion of at-risk students that is at least 85 percent of the proportion of at-risk students within the district as a whole. Colorado, Illinois and Texas give preferences in granting charters to those seeking to serve at-risk populations, and Texas has developed a large number of charter schools for at-risk children. However, little of the discussion about the selectivity issue centers on funding. Additional funding attached to at-risk youth may create powerful incentives for potential charter holders to create programs serving these children. Without extra funding, charter schools have less incentive to serve high-cost students. A great deal of variation exists in the degree to which charter schools receive extra state and local funds specifically for the education of at-risk youth, as shown in Table 6. 42 Overview of Charter School Funding TABLE 6 State Funding for At-risk or Low-income Students Yes Negotiated or Allocated by School district No Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois,1 Michigan, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas Colorado,2,3 Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois,2 Kansas,3 New Mexico,3 South Carolina, Wisconsin Connecticut, District of Columbia, Louisiana,4 Massachusetts,5 North Carolina, 5 Pennsylvania, 5 Rhode Island5 1 Yes, for Chicago charter schools. 2 Charter schools can negotiate for more than 100 percent of average district funding. 3 At-risk students are weighted in state aid formula generating funds for the school district. 4 No, for schools chartered by school districts; yes for a few state-authorized schools. 5 Charter schools receive school district average for at-risk or low-income students as part of base funding. In Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico and other states that leave funding decisions up to negotiations between school districts and charter schools, more dollars may follow an at-risk child, but this extra funding is not guaranteed. States such as Hawaii, Kansas and Wisconsin may provide extra funding for at-risk students through the normal school district budget allocation procedure. Most of the other states that provide more funding for at-risk or low-income students use a weighting system. In Texas, at-risk students receive an extra weighting of 20 percent. In Michigan, the additional weight is 11 percent. Other states fund low-income students as a categorical program. New Jersey, for example, provides $436 per at-risk student. Minnesota provides at-risk funding that is...
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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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