Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

Sometimes the actual practices of selected charter

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Unformatted text preview: -kind provision of services by school districts. In states where charter schools are more dependent on school districts and where funding is a result of negotiations with the school district, it is particularly difficult to estimate the amount of funding that charter schools can expect to receive. In these instances two approaches were used. Sometimes the actual practices of selected charter schools in particular school districts (e.g., an at-risk urban charter high school or a basic elementary charter school in an average school district) were used as the basis for calculations. In a few states, where charter schools are very dependent on school districts (e.g., Kansas, Georgia or Wisconsin), it is not possible to untangle charter school costs or revenues from school district costs and revenues. In these instances, the revenues generated for the district by students enrolled in the hypothetical charter schools are described. Special education funding. Calculations include such easily identifiable revenue as weightings in the general state aid formula applying to charter schools, state categorical aid and federal funds. In addition, our analysis usually incorporates: (1) special education costs in school districts’ general operating funds passed on to charter schools and (2) mandated or negotiated in-kind provision of special education services by school districts for charter schools. State and federal funding for special education seldom covers all—or even most— special education costs. Consequently, special education spending from local operating revenue amounts to special education funding for charter schools. In a few states, due to the absence of special education cost data, highly simplified estimates of the cost of providing special education are employed. Transportation funding. These issues resemble the special education issues. In concept, all transportation revenues available to charter schools are identified, whether charter schools provide transportation on their own or through a school district. Transportation revenue includes such easily identifiable revenue as weightings in the general state aid formula applying to charter schools, and state categorical aid. In addition, this analysis usually incorporates: (1) transportation costs in school district general operating funds passed on to charter schools in the basic per-pupil funding and (2) mandated or negotiated school district provision of transportation for charter schools. In some states, it is necessary to place a value of in-kind transportation services. In the absence of better information, the state average cost per pupil enrolled (not transported) is used as a rough estimate of the value. Other state categorical funding. Calculations are generally based on the state average for major programs for which charter schools are likely to qualify other then special education 24 Methodology and transportation. Some charter schools may be more aggressive in providing programs qualifying for state categori...
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