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Home » Issues » Choice & Charter Schools » Charter Funding: Inequity Expands

Charter Funding: Inequity Expands

Charter schools receive significantly less per-pupil funding than traditional public schools, according to an April 2014 study from the University of Arkansas.

On average, charter schools receive 28.4 percent less for each student than their traditional counterparts, amounting to $3,814 less per year.

Over time, the funding disparity between districts and charter schools has increased by 54 percent in eight years, as charter enrollment has continued to grow.

Funding gaps vary from state to state, but researchers found that the gap is widest at the local level, where on average charter schools receive $1,780 per pupil from local sources, compared with $5,230 received by traditional schools.

Moreover, there is overwhelming evidence that state funding inequities are structural in nature, and charter funding can’t possibly be resolved without starting over.

These findings validate those from the 2014 Survey of America’s Charter Schools, which reported that charter schools receive on average 36 percent less revenue than their traditional school counterparts.

The University of Arkansas study is current up to the 2010-11 school year, and researchers collected, reviewed and audited financial statements from 30 states plus the District of Columbia.