Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

Venturesome Capital State Charter School Finance Systems

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Unformatted text preview: the implementation practices of school districts. No two charter schools ever receive exactly the same funding. Consequently, this review breaks down the actual dollar amounts that states could give to charter schools based on the types of students enrolled and other features of the charter school funding formulas. This chapter describes the terminology employed as well as the protocol used to: (1) calculate state and local per-pupil allocations to charter schools and (2) allocate state and federal categorical funding to charter schools. Terminology This study uses the term “charter school” throughout, even though some states use different names for charter schools, e.g., in Michigan they are called public school academies. “School district” describes public school districts as both geographic areas and administrative units. Our report does not use the term LEA (local education agency) to describe school districts as administrative or governance units for several reasons. Many states treat charter schools as LEAs. It is also confusing to distinguish between school districts as geographic areas where charter schools are located and school districts as LEAs, where they have administrative authority over charter schools. School districts authorize and oversee charter schools in some states, but the same charter schools sometimes qualify for state categorical funding as if they were LEAs. In other states, school districts generally have no administrative connection to charter schools, but they may be the administrative unit for a specific service such as transportation or special education assessment. This study frequently compares charter schools to “host school districts” which our study defines as the school district in which the charter school is physically located. The relationship between a host school district and charter school ranges from chartering 21 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems authority to simply the geographic area in which the charter school is physically located. Among the charter school states in this study, only state-authorized schools in Arizona are totally independent of any school district characteristic or service. For example, the very independent charter schools in Michigan still receive funding in accordance with the school district in which the charter school facility is physically located. In Massachusetts, funding is based on characteristics of those school districts “sending” children to charter schools. Although not always the case, the school district in which the charter school is located usually sends the most students. Hypothetical Charter Schools While occasionally examining actual charter school funding data, most attention focuses on the allocation of revenues to three hypothetical charter schools in each state.13 The hypothetical constructs help facilitate comparisons to traditional public schools within a state, as well as standardizing comparisons across states. The state-by-state analysis appears in the appendix, and it constitutes the basis for much of the analysis in Chapter 4. § Basic Elementary Charter School—an elementary school with n...
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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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