Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

The individual state reports also address issues

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Unformatted text preview: nal schools that are not dependent on state or federal start-up funding. Our report addresses federal start-up funds in Chapter 5. Sometimes, the individual state narratives address start-up funding, although only a few states now provide such funding. The individual state reports also address issues related to start-up such as revolving loan funds for cash flow assistance and the timing of state and local payments to charter schools. 27 Overview of Charter School Funding CHAPTER 4 Overview of Charter School Funding The casual observer probably assumes that providing charter schools with state and local funding should be relatively simple. One determines the funding children receive in traditional public schools and transfers this amount on a per-pupil basis to charter schools. However, wide variations across states exist in how students are counted and how their educational needs are determined. Revenue for school districts is also distributed differently in every state. These differences have a major impact on the amount of funding charter schools receive compared both to school districts and to other charter schools. In addition to a description of the basic funding structure, this chapter examines three factors that determine charter school revenue variations within and across states: § Pupil Characteristics. As a result of disability, poverty, limited-English proficiency or other factors, some children face greater educational challenges. School finance systems generally take this into account and assign additional funds to students with greater need. More resources may be allocated to children in specific grade levels— such as the early grades or at the high school level. Another important difference across states is whether funding is based on student enrollment or attendance. One common method of making adjustments for pupil characteristics uses a weighting system correlated with the cost of educating a particular kind of student. If a basic student has a weight of 1.0 and a special education student has a weight of 2.4, the special education student would receive 2.4 times the funding of the basic student. In some states, students generate flat grants, where the amount of the grant for each need or disability is the same across all districts and charter schools. § Geography. Most states provide funding for charter schools based on the revenue generated in either the school district the charter school is located in or the school district a charter school student is coming from (sometimes called the sending district or the district of residence). Charter schools inherit some or all of the funding differences among school districts within a state. There are two general sources of interdistrict variation based on geography. The first is based on differences in local wealth or tax effort. The second is 29 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems based on efforts by states to provide more resources to school districts that face...
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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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