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Philanthropy makes up small portion of D.C. charter schools budget

By Moriah Costa
August 17, 2015

Only six percent of funding for D.C. charter schools comes from private contributions, disproving claims that significant philanthropic contributions gives charter schools an advantage over traditional public schools.

A report released by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute earlier this month found the majority of funding for charter schools comes from the D.C. government. The report is in line with other studies, including a 2011 analysis from the University of Arkansas that found nationally, traditional public schools often receive more money on average than charter schools.

“I think it’s one thing about where people say the funds come from and it’s another thing to look where the actual money comes from, so I don’t think this is all that surprising if we looked across in other states,” said Alison Consoletti Zgainer, executive vice president of the Center for Education Reform. “I think it’s just the rhetoric of charter schools being supported by philanthropy is louder than what the reality is.”

Zgainer said a 2010 survey her organization conducted found that only 8 percent of funding for charter schools came from private philanthropy. The findings were not published.

The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute did not respond to a request for comment.

About 44 percent of D.C. students are enrolled in a charter school. Both charter schools and traditional public schools receive funding per student. The report found that charter schools spent an average of $14,639 per student in fiscal year 2014. That’s in line with district schools, which received an average of $14,497 per student. Charter schools also receive an additional $3,000 per student for facilities, while district schools receive long-term building funds from the D.C. capital budget.

Of the 60 charter schools, 21 were high-performing financially and seven were deemed low and inadequate. Eighteen schools were operating at a deficit,

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Newswire: April 28, 2015

Vol. 17, No. 17

CHOICE IS POWER. This editor of Newswire had the pleasure to sit down with a mom yesterday to talk about her son’s education and the impact making a choice has had on his life. Barbara left D.C. in the mid-90s to escape the violence and chose to move to suburban Virginia to give her kids a fighting chance. Her youngest son was struggling in a big suburban school, where the achievement gap is only growing among white and black students. She decided to move back to D.C. recently because she has witnessed how school choice has changed her community for the better, and now her son is thriving and has aspirations for college. Congress passed the controversial D.C. School Reform Act in 1996 to bring dramatic change to the nation’s capital and #edreform has done just that. Barbara said that “people aren’t inherently bad, but they make bad decisions when they have no choice in the matter.” She noted the people in her community haven’t changed since the mid-90s, but school choice has empowered them to make better decisions and aspire for something greater. The nation is watching Baltimore clean up from yesterday’s destruction caused in large part by young schoolchildren that have no choice in a city where violence looks a lot like D.C. did twenty years ago. Meanwhile, advocates continue to battle the status quo in Annapolis who believe “small progress” and a political win are more important than taking the bold and controversial steps as D.C. once did to empower parents in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.

FUNDING FIASCOS. In Connecticut, lawmakers are toying with children’s futures by eliminating funding for two already approved charter schools, Capital Prep Harbor School in Bridgeport and Stamford Charter School for Excellence. Dr. Steve

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Budget Neglects More Than Half of All Charter Schools in New York State

Fundamental Flaws in State’s Charter School Law Must Be Addressed to Ensure Equity; Politics Do Not Trump Good Policy

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
April 1, 2014

The New York Legislature, together with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, crafted a budget passing late Monday night that financially favors a select few charter schools in New York City rather than giving charter schools – and the students they serve – statewide equitable treatment.

“Claims that the New York budget is exceedingly friendly to charter schools are little more than political spin,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform. “Some charters have been granted protections from opponents they surely deserve, and this is a good thing. But overall this budget creates a tiered system in its treatments of charter schools, and the fundamental funding inequity flaw in the state’s charter school law remains intact.”

The new state budget provides facility support that is limited to new and growing charter schools in New York City only. City schools in private facilities and all charter school students outside of New York City get nothing. This means that more than half of all public charter schools in New York state will receive absolutely no school facilities aid.

Additionally, the budget agreement contains an extension of a freeze in base per pupil aid for charter schools for another three years while spending on other public school students goes up, representing a distinct funding disparity for charter school students across the state.

“State policy needs to enact what’s best for all children, and the budget agreement passed Monday favors a select number of charter schools at the expense of many others,” said Kerwin. “Playing politics with schoolchildren as pawns like this is downright wrong and unacceptable.”

“An equitable budget treats a student in Brooklyn the same as a student in Utica or a

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Charter schools funding hot issue

“Charter schools funding hot issue”
by Marquita Brown
Jackson Clarion Ledger
February 29, 2012

As state lawmakers work to relax requirements for opening charter schools in Mississippi, the unanswered question is can the state afford both or will it leave both underfunded.

Today, the House Education Committee will take up House Bill 888, which includes broader allowances for charter schools. Last week, the Senate passed SB 2401 that would allow charter schools in every Mississippi school district with some restrictions.

If a district has enough demand for a charter school, the state and local dollars should follow the child, said John Moore, chairman of the House Education Committee and principal author of HB 888.

The problem with the argument that scarce resources would be spread over a larger group of students is “you’re not increasing the number of kids,” said Moore, R-Brandon.

Critics of those groups are no longer in a fixed group. Most charter schools cap their enrollment, meaning some students who might have wanted to attend the new school can’t and would likely remain in traditional public schools, which would then be operating with less money.

“Mississippi has very scarce resources. We can’t afford to fund schools at the level that most people would acknowledge they need to be funded,” said Nancy Loome, executive director of the Parents’ Campaign. That’s also true for other public service agencies, she said.

Loome, who heads a network of more than 60,000 people, said she has heard from parents of students in home schools and in private schools who are interested in charter schools. Adding more students to the mix leads to less funding for all students and a less efficient use of resources, she said.

Superintendents of traditional public schools have said they increased class sizes, postponed building maintenance, made due with outdated textbooks, cut central office staff and,

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Teaneck’s Terrible Twenty

Despite the popularity of charter schools and increased necessity of new learning options, a group of parents who want to start an online charter school are under attack by their local school board, who is leading a war that includes lies, distortions and hostile actions. The Teaneck School Board — fearing that a charter would take money from their district (which means they know people would leave??) has organized public forums during school hours, used children as carrier pigeons for propaganda, organized rallies and have now expended precious taxpayer time and resources to file a suit against the citizens who are applying and the state of New Jersey. The district wants an end put to such schools. Good try. Other school boards tried this in the early part of the state’s law and were twice rebuffed by the State Supreme Court. But they like getting in the way of the little people who dare to question their authority, so they’ve slung whatever they can at this school. They are trying to get parents, teachers, and principals from the area to speak at a rally they will hold on school property. Wonder who’s actually helping students learn while they are waging their private war?

All the hoopla over how many Teaneck residents really don’t want a virtual charter in their neighborhood and a mere twenty show up to rally against the plan? That’s right. Only 20 people carried placards to protest against the plan, chanting “We want a say in what we pay.” This measly group showed up outside the National Guard Armory where Governor Christie was addressing the press on another issue. The Terrible Twenty were able to convince Teaneck’s mayor to call for a district vote before any charter school gets established.

This would be laughable if not

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