New research from the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas shows a 30 percent gap in average per pupil spending between metro charter schools and their district school counterparts. The study, the first in a three-part series on charter school funding, focuses on 14 cities across the country with a high concentration of charter schools.
Researchers identified local sources as the biggest source of the disparity. According to the study, “Charter School Funding: Inequity in the City,” the local source funding gap favors district schools by on average $7,000 a student. Local per-pupil funding for traditional public schools averages $9,534 compared to $2,524 for charter schools, according to the study.
The study goes on to examine federal, state, local and non-public dollars from the 2013-14 school year. Researchers studied the funding relationship in New York City, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Tulsa, Little Rock, Camden, and Oakland.
For advocates building a case about equitable charter school funding, this research may hold important evidence. If you are looking to connect with advocates who have made significant progress on this issue, learn more about a historic win in Colorado.