Similar to public schools, charter schools in the United States are tuition-free. However, charter schools are different in that they are independent of the districts in which they sit. In this case, how charter schools secure funding at the state and federal level can be complex. Some states have even tried to roll back funding for charters in their annual budgets, making it even harder for schools to not only operate at regular strength but stay open at all. Read more below to get a better understanding of charter school funding from various sources.
At the federal level, charter schools are eligible for specific funding such as Title 1 and Special Education funding. Title 1 usually refers to the part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as part of Title 1, Part A, which supplies nationwide educational aid either directly to schools or through loan agencies.
Title 1 allows charter schools to get funding assistance for schools with a large number of pupils from low-income families. These funds ensure that all students can meet the academic standards of each state.
Another type of federal charter school funding is a federal grant that assists new schools with startup costs as well as helps existing schools in various ways. This includes acquiring, constructing, or fixing facilities, replicating, and expanding established high-quality charter schools. However, federal funding is usually distributed on a reimbursement basis which means the school must spend the money first and then get the funds.
Charter schools can also receive funding outside the public, and this is necessary as public revenues usually fall short. Sources of private funding include individual donors, foundation grants, board members, private loans, and fundraising events.
When it comes to facilities costs, charter schools receive money from states through startup and planning grants that can be used for constructing new schools or renovating existing spaces. In other areas, any charter school may be eligible for tax-exempt bonds, tax-exempt financing, or low-interest loans. There are a variety of ways in which charter schools get funding for facilities that differ greatly from one state to the next.
Each state determines how charter schools receive their funding, which can be different between individual states and even between counties or districts. In most scenarios, charter schools get their public funds based on per-pupil revenue according to enrollment. However, the amount of money received by charter schools for each student doesn’t include operations expenses because most charters are not eligible to receive the residential tax dollars that school districts collect.
Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc., is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures including educators liability insurance. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.