A comment was made by WTFinDelaware on September 7, 2015 under the post titled: Washington State Supreme Court ruling on charter schools and public funding. I thought it was a good point and needed a little further discussion. I was just going to comment under the original post but I thought many others probably thought the same thing.
You do understand that the only local funds that flow to a Charter School is the per pupil expenses of a resident child attending the Charter School right? So in essence, the parent who choose to enroll in a Charter School also has chosen to send their local funding to a Charter School. There are no extra local funds that flow out. The belief that charters are draining fund is just wrong. They are also draining expenses then also, since the local school district does not need to spend find educating these student.
All districts per pupil allocation varies from district-to-district, below is one example. When a student leaves their school district and attends a charter school the money follows the student. We pay about $1,000 in taxes to Red Clay and we have two children who attended public schools. The $1,000 that we paid in local taxes was not enough money to cover our children’s education. My neighbors who sent their children to private school are helping to pay for my children to attend public school and so is my other neighbor who no longer has children in the public school system. To educate both my children in Reg. 4th thru 12th grades, the local share that is needed is a little over $6,000. If they were in grades K thru 3rd, the local share is about $7,600.00. Down state it is much less per student.
Reg K – 3 including Basic students – $3,829.95 per year
Reg 4th through 12th – $3,102.26 per year
Basic (Spec Ed) 4th through 12th – 12 – $7,386.34 per year
Intensive (Spec Ed) K through 12th – $10,340.88 per year
Complex (Sped Ed) K through – 12th – $23,863.56 per year
“since the local school district does not need to spend [funds] educating these student[s who migrate to charters] ”
Where this really puts districts in a bind is when some students migrate to Charters, but not enough to warrant closing a district building, or reducing the number of teachers a district needs to reduce operational costs.
The money is following the student but the sending District still maintains operational costs with less funding. If we’re fantasizing, Districts would be dynamically changing along with the student population to account for the funding gap but we know that isn’t the case. Districts do not [yet] have the capability to react quickly enough to address this type of funding “migration” within the legal confines of education funding in Delaware.
Here’s the real kicker though. If a student transfers to a charter after the September 30th count, the traditional school district is OBLIGATED to pay the local share to the charter. If the reverse happens, and a student goes from a charter to traditional, the charter is NOT OBLIGATED to send the funds with the student. Which is seriously jacked up! Only in Delaware…