This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
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
§ 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...
View Full Document
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