ERIC Number: ED486494
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Charter School Funding: Inequity's Next Frontier
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute
Of all the controversies swirling around the nation's charter schools, none is more hotly contested than the debate over funding. Charter opponents charge that these autonomous public schools are draining scarce resources from public school districts. Proponents, by contrast, complain that charter schools do not get their fair share of public education dollars. Despite all the controversy around this issue, however, there has been little research about how much public revenue actually goes to charter schools. To remedy that lack of information, this study examines charter school funding in 16 states and the District of Columbia, jurisdictions that collectively enroll 84 percent of the nation's charter school students, according to the Center for Education Reform (CER). Within each of those states, the study also investigates charter school funding in one to three large districts, 27 districts in all. The four major findings of this study are: (1) Charter schools overall are significantly underfunded relative to district schools; (2) Funding discrepancies are even wider in most big urban school districts; (3) The chief culprit is charter schools' lack of access to local and capital funding; and (4) Quality data are often unavailable. Appended are: (1) Methodology; (2) Sources and Informants; and (3) Research Team. (Contains 14 tables and 323 endnotes.) [This report was produced by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute; Progress Analytics Institute; and Public Impact. Financial assistance for this report was also provided by the Walton Family Foundation.]
Descriptors: School Districts, Urban Areas, Charter Schools, Educational Finance, Public Schools, Research Methodology
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute, 1627 K Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; Web site: http://www.edexcellence.net.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.