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Home » News & Analysis » Commentary » Rising to the Challenge

Rising to the Challenge

Founded in 1999, Rise Academy in Lubbock, Texas has achieved a high level of success. For six years in a row, the school has been an “Exemplary School” in the eyes of the Texas Education Agency.

But this success hasn’t been obstacle-free.

The school “does more with less” to provide traditionally underserved populations of pre-K through 8th grade students a superior education. According to a 2014 University of Arkansas study, traditional district schools in Texas would have received $1 billion less in funding if they were funded at the same level as their public charter school peers.

Rise Academy Photo NCSW2015Unfortunately, funding equity for these alternative public schools is not just a problem in Texas, but nationwide. On average, charter schools receive 36% less in revenue per student than traditional public schools according to the Survey of America’s Charter Schools. And, to add insult to injury, unlike other public schools, most do not receive facility funds.

However, Rise Academy and charter schools across the nation are providing parents innovative and transformative options despite the numerous challenges they face. But as waitlists for charter schools continue to grow, so must charter schools to meet demand. Equitable funding and autonomy for schools would allow schools of choice to increase and accelerate the pace of reform efforts across the country.



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