Measuring Up



weight: 2 | possible total: 8

5. Adequate Authorizer Funding

5A. Adequate funding from authorizing fees (or other sources). 5B. Guaranteed funding from authorizing fees (or from sources not subject to annual legislative appropriations). 5C. Requirement to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures. 5D. Separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school. 5E. Prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase services from them.

How well do states’ laws align to this component of the model law?

State

Charter Law Description

Score

Alaska

Alaska law includes none of the model law’s provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

Arizona

Arizona law lacks most of the model law’s provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

The law does not provide adequate and guaranteed funding to authorizers. However, the ASBCS receives a small annual appropriation to cover the expenses of the board, staffing, and external contracts for various oversight functions. State law now allows the ASBCS to accept gifts or grants. Also, state department of education staff or other state employees complete some oversight functions.

State law allows authorizers to charge a new charter application processing fee to any applicant, which must fully cover the cost of application review and any needed technical assistance. It also allows authorizers to approve policies that allow a portion of the fee to be returned to the applicant whose charter is approved. The law allows the ASBCS to charge a processing fee to any charter school that amends its contract to participate in the Arizona Online Instruction program.

Arizona law provides that authorizers, as public entities, are held accountable for reporting their expenditures, but there are no requirements to specifically report expenditures on authorizing activities.

Except for the new charter application processing fee, Arizona law provides that authorizers may not charge any fees to schools they sponsor unless they have provided services for the school, and any such fees must represent full value of those services. On request, the value of such services must be demonstrated to the state department of education. There is nothing in statute requiring a separate contract for any such services purchased.

2

Arkansas

Arkansas law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding. Currently, the state department of education has allocated a staff position out of their budget to oversee the charter program.

0

California

California law allows authorizers to charge each charter school up to 1% in revenues for the actual costs of oversight or up to 3% of revenues if the authorizer is providing a substantially rent-free facility to the school.

The statutory language permitting authorizers to charge “actual costs not to exceed” the specified percentage implies public accountability for authorizer expenditures, but it is not practiced in any consistent, structured way.

California law permits a charter school to separately purchase services from its authorizer, indicating that such fees are to be separate from the oversight fee. However, the law is not explicit on requiring a clear, separate contract for such services.

The law does not explicitly prohibit an authorizer from requiring a school to purchase services. In practice, however, such a requirement could not be a condition for charter approval, as a school’s refusal to purchase services would not be cause for denial.

4

Colorado

For district-chartered schools, Colorado law provides that district authorizers may retain the actual cost of each charter school’s per-pupil share of central administrative costs for services actually provided to the charter school, up to 15% of per-pupil funding for districts with 500 or fewer students and up to 5% of per-pupil funding for all other districts. For institute-chartered schools, the law provides that the institute may retain 3% of per-pupil funding (while the state department of education may retain up to 2% of per-pupil funding for its relevant administrative costs).

Within 90 days after the end of each fiscal year, the law requires each authorizer to provide to each charter school it oversees an itemized accounting of all its central administrative overhead costs.

The law does not require a separate contract for services purchased by a charter school from its authorizer. In the case of institute-chartered schools, the law requires schools and the institute to agree on any services to be provided by the institute or by other parties as part of the charter contract.

The law prohibits the state charter institute from requiring charter schools to purchase services from the institute. The law similarly provides that a district-chartered school may purchase services at its discretion from the district.

6

Connecticut

Connecticut law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding. However, the state department of education has allocated a staff position out of their budget to oversee the charter program.

0

Delaware

Delaware law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

District of Columbia

The law entitles the authorizer to charge each charter school up to one-half of one percent (.5%) of its annual school budget as an oversight fee. The DC Public Charter School Board also receives an annual local appropriation on top of its guaranteed administrative percentage.

4

Florida

Florida law allows an authorizer to withhold up to 5% of a charter school's per-pupil funding for up to 250 students to cover the costs of providing certain administrative and educational services to charter schools as specified in statute. For “high performing” charter schools, the law reduces this amount to 2%. The law provides that authorizers of virtual schools may charge a fee up to 5%.

Florida law provides that if goods and services are made available to a charter school through a contract with an authorizer, then these services must be provided at a rate no greater than actual cost, unless mutually agreed upon by the charter school and the authorizer in a separate contract. If disputes arise over contracted services or contractual matters, the law allows appeals to the state charter school appeals commission.

The law does not allow authorizers to charge any additional fees or surcharges for administrative and educational services beyond five percent. Statute also states that an authorizer may not charge a fee for reviewing applications and cannot base its consideration or approval of an application upon the promise of future payment of any kind.

6

Georgia

Georgia law establishes that authorizers may withhold up to 3% of state and local charter school funding for administrative costs.

State rule provides that all authorizers that withhold funds from charter schools have to annually report on the use of such funds to the state department of education.

Georgia law allows for state authorized charter schools to contract with local boards of education for administrative or transportation services. It does not contain a similar provision pertaining to district-authorized charter schools or a similar provision allowing such contracting with non-district authorizers. The law also doesn’t prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them.

6

Hawaii

Statute states that up to 2% of the state's annual charter school appropriation may be withheld to support the work of the state public charter school commission. However, statute is silent on any financial support for other potential authorizers.

Statute provides clear requirements to publicly report authorizer expenditures, to have separate contracts for any purchased services, and to prohibit authorizers from requiring any specific services purchases from them.

6

Idaho

The law requires each public charter school to pay an authorizer fee to its authorized chartering entity to defray the actual documented cost of monitoring, evaluation and oversight, which, in the case of public charter schools authorized by the public charter school commission, shall include each school's proportional fee share of all moneys appropriated to the public charter school commission, plus 15%. The law allows each public charter school's board of directors to direct up to 10% of the calculated fee to pay membership fees to an organization or association that provides technical assistance, training and advocacy for Idaho public charter schools.

Unless the authorized chartering entity declines payment, such fee shall not exceed the greater of:
(a) all state funds distributed to public schools on a support unit basis for the prior fiscal year, divided by the statewide number of public school students in average daily attendance in the first reporting period in the prior fiscal year; or the lesser of the result of the calculation in (a) multiplied by 4 or
1.5% of the result of the calculation in (a) multiplied by the public charter school's average daily attendance in the first reporting period in the current fiscal year.

The law does not include a requirement to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures, require a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school, and prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them.

4

Illinois

Illinois law allows the State Charter School Commission to charge up to 3% of the revenues provided to its approved schools. It does not contain a similar provision for school district authorizers.

The law requires the state board of education’s periodic report on charter schools to detail the authorizing functions that authorizers provided to their charter schools, including operating costs and expenses as detailed in annual audited financial statements.

It does not require a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school and does not prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them.

4

Indiana

Indiana law allows all authorizers except local school boards to withhold up to 3% of a school’s funding as an administrative fee.

The law provides that an authorizer's administrative fee may not include any costs incurred in delivering services that a charter school may purchase at its discretion from the authorizer. It provides that the authorizer shall use this funding exclusively for fulfilling authorizing obligations.


The law provides that a charter school may not be required to purchase services from its authorizer as a condition of charter approval or of executing a charter contract, nor may any such condition be implied.


The law allows a charter school to choose to purchase services from its authorizer. In that event, the law requires the charter school and the authorizer to execute an annual service contract, separate from the charter contract, stating the parties' mutual agreement concerning the services to be provided by the authorizer and any service fees to be charged to the charter school. The law states that an authorizer may not charge more than market rates for services provided to a charter school.


According to the law, not later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year, each authorizer shall provide to each charter school it authorizes an itemized accounting of the actual costs of services purchased by the charter school from the authorizer. The law states that any difference between the amount initially charged to the charter school and the actual cost shall be reconciled and paid to the owed party. If either party disputes the itemized accounting, any charges included in the accounting, or charges to either party, the law allows either party to request a review by the state department of education and requires the requesting party to pay the costs of the review.

6

Iowa

Iowa law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

Kansas

Kansas law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

Louisiana

Louisiana law allows authorizers to annually charge each charter school it authorizes a fee in an amount equal to two percent of per-pupil funding for administrative overhead costs incurred by the chartering authority for considering the charter application and any amendment thereto, providing monitoring and oversight of the school, collecting and analyzing data of the school, and for reporting on school performance.

At least thirty days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, Louisiana law requires each authorizer to provide each charter school with a projected budget detailing anticipated administrative overhead costs and planned uses for fees charged for such costs. By not later than ninety days following the end of each fiscal year, the law requires the authorizer to provide each charter school an itemized accounting of all administrative overhead costs. Additionally, by not later than ninety days following the end of each fiscal year, the law requires the authorizer to provide each charter school an itemized accounting of the actual cost of each purchased service provided to the charter school.

Louisiana law allows a charter school to contract with its authorizer for the direct purchase of specific services in addition to those included in administrative overhead costs. The law requires the authorizer to provide such services at the actual costs incurred by the authorizer, and requires the amount paid by a charter school for such purchased services to be in accordance with a written agreement entered into for this purpose. It provides that such agreement must be negotiated and executed prior to the beginning of each school year, and that absent such an agreement the authorizer has no authority to withhold from the charter school any funds relative to providing such services. The law also allows transportation costs to be acquired via contract at below cost if both parties agree.

Louisiana law allows an authorizer to provide other services for a charter school and charge the actual cost of providing
such services, but no such arrangement must be required as a condition for authorizing the charter school.

8

Maine

Maine law allows authorizers to charge up to 3% of the per pupil allocations sent to the schools they authorize to cover the costs for an authorizer to oversee its public charter schools. Statute requires authorizers to report to the state commissioner of education the oversight and services they provide to their charter schools, although no detailed authorizer expenditures from such fees are explicitly required to be reported.

Statute provides that charter schools may not be required to purchase services from its authorizer, but may choose to do so. The law provides that schools and authorizers must execute an annual service contract, separate from the charter contract, stating the terms of the services.

6

Maryland

Maryland law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

Massachusetts

Massachusetts law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

Michigan

Via an assessed fee, Michigan law allows authorizers to receive up to 3% of the total state school aid to be received by their charter schools.

Michigan law provides that as public entities, all public fund expenditures for authorizers are a matter of public record. However, the law does not require specific separate reporting of authorizer fee expenditures.

Statute allows authorizers to charge a fee for other services, but states they cannot require such arrangements as a condition to issuing a contract to a school.

The law does not require a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school.

4

Minnesota

Minnesota law allows authorizers to charge a fee. It provides that the fee that an authorizer may annually assess is the greater of: the basic formula allowance for that year; or the lesser of: the maximum fee factor times the basic formula allowance for that year; or the fee factor times the basic formula allowance for that year times the charter school's adjusted pupil units for that year. The fee factor equals .015. The maximum fee factor equals 4.0.

For the preoperational planning period, after a school is chartered, the law allows an authorizer to assess a charter school a fee equal to the basic formula allowance.

Minnesota law requires authorizers to annually submit a statement of income and expenditures related to authorizing activities to the state commissioner and its charter schools.

Statute states that the granting or renewal of a charter by an authorizer cannot be contingent on the school being required to contract, lease, or purchase services from the authorizer. It also provides that any potential contract, lease, or purchase of service by a charter school from an authorizer must be disclosed to the state commissioner, accepted through an open bidding process, and be a separate contract from the charter contract. There are also further requirements in law if the contract is for management or financial services.

8

Mississippi

To cover the costs of overseeing charter schools in accordance with this act, the law provides that the state authorizer shall receive 3% of annual per-pupil allocations received by a charter school from state and local funds for each charter school it authorizes.

While the law does not require the state authorizer to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures, it does require the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review to prepare an annual report assessing the sufficiency of funding for charter schools, the efficacy of the state formula for authorizer funding, and any suggested changes in state law or policy necessary to strengthen the state's charter schools.

The law does not require a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school and does not include a prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase services from them.

4

Missouri

To defray the expenses associated with authorizing, Missouri law requires the state department of education to retain and provide to the authorizer one and five-tenths percent of the amount of state and local funding allocated to the charter school.

The law allows charter schools to enter into contracts with districts for the provision of services, but it silent about allowing charters to enter into contracts with non-district authorizers for the provision of services.

The law doesn’t require authorizers to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures and doesn’t prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them.

4

Nevada

Nevada law provides that authorizers receive a fee not to exceed 2% of the total amount of money apportioned to charter schools, except that charter schools meeting the requirements of law may request their sponsor to lower the amount to not less than 1%.

Upon completion of a school quarter, the law allows an authorizer to request reimbursement from a charter school for the administrative costs associated with authorization during that school year, including an itemized list of those costs.

Statute requires a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a charter school board, excluding those services covered by the sponsorship fee. The law also provides a prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase any services from them.

8

New Hampshire

New Hampshire law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

New Jersey

New Jersey law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

New Mexico

New Mexico law allows authorizers to withhold and use two percent of the school-generated program cost for its administrative support of a charter school. The law requires authorizers to annually provide a detailed description of how they are expending the dollars that they are withholding from charter schools.

New Mexico law allows a charter school to contract with a school district, a university or college, the state, another political subdivision of the state, the federal government or one of its agencies, a tribal government, or any other third party for the use of a facility, its operation and maintenance, and the provision of any service or activity that the charter school is required to perform in order to carry out the educational program described in its charter.

The law does not include a prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase services from them.

6

New York

New York law includes a small number of the model law’s provisions for adequate authorizer funding.
SUNY’s authorizing activities are funded through two separate appropriations in the New York State Budget. The State Education Department’s appropriation includes the majority of this funding within its allocation for “aid to localities.” The rest of the funding comes from SUNY’s appropriation, under the allocation for “university-wide systems.”

2

North Carolina

North Carolina provides funding for the Office of Charter Schools at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, which serves as authorizing staff to the state board and others. The law also requires the state board of education to establish reasonable fees of no less than $500 for initial and renewal charter applications.

The state law provides that a charter school is not required to enter into any other contract.

2

Ohio

Ohio law allows authorizers to take up to 3% of each charter school's per pupil funding. Ohio rules prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them.

4

Oklahoma

Oklahoma law permits an authorizer to withhold up to 5% of a school's state aid allocation for administrative purposes. However, it does not include requirements for authorizers to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures, require a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school, and prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them.

4

Oregon

Oregon law allows authorizers to retain a significant portion of charter school per-pupil funding, typically 20% for K-8 schools and 5% for high schools. The law does not mandate that these retained funds be spent on oversight, but that was the legislative intent.

The law does not require authorizers to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures, does not require a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school, and does not prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them.

4

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

Rhode Island

Rhode Island law and regulations include none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

South Carolina

South Carolina law provides that the South Carolina Public Charter School District may retain no more than two percent of the total state appropriations for each charter school it authorizes to cover the costs for overseeing its charter schools. The law provides that this fee does not include costs incurred in delivering services that a charter school may purchase at its discretion from the authorizer.

South Carolina law requires that all services centrally or otherwise provided by an authorizer including, but not limited to, food services, custodial services, maintenance, curriculum, media services, libraries, and warehousing are subject to negotiation between a charter school and the authorizer and must be outlined in the school’s charter contract. The model law calls for such services to be included in a contract separate from the school’s charter contract and calls for a prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase services from them.

The law does not require authorizers to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures.

4

Tennessee

Tennessee law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding. However, Tennessee law allows LEAs to charge applicants an application fee in an amount approved by the local board of education, not to exceed $500 per application.

0

Texas

Texas law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

However, via the state appropriations process, the state provides funds to the state board of education and state commissioner of education in support of their functions, including those relating to charter schools. In addition, the state board of education and the state commissioner of education is publicly accountable for the state funds used to exercise all of their functions, including those relating to charter schools.

0

Utah

Utah funds its state charter board through an annual legislative appropriation each year. The amount varies but is generally considered adequate for the board’s basic work.

The law does not provide for funding for local school board authorizers, but permits higher education institutions to charge up to 3% of the revenue the charter school receives from the state in the current fiscal year in the first two years that a charter school is in operation as an annual oversight fee. Beginning with the third year that a charter school is in operation, an annual oversight fee may not exceed the product of 1% of the revenue a charter school receives from the state in the current fiscal year.

Utah law requires all state agencies including the state charter board, school districts, and charter schools to publicly report their expenditures.

Utah law specifies that the state charter board may provide services to its charter schools at the discretion of the charter school and that a district-authorized school may contract with the district for services, but the law does not clearly prohibit authorizers from requiring schools to purchase services from them. It also doesn't require a separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school.

4

Virginia

Virginia law provides that a public charter school may negotiate and contract with a school division, the governing body of a public institution of higher education, or any third party for the use of a school building and grounds, the operation and maintenance thereof, and the provision of any service, activity, or undertaking which the public charter school is required to perform in order to carry out the educational program described in its charter contract. It also provides that any services for which a public charter school contracts with a school division shall not exceed the division's costs to provide such services.

Virginia law also provides that funding and service agreements between local school boards and public charter schools must not provide a financial incentive or constitute a financial disincentive to the establishment of a public charter school, including any regional public charter school.

4

Washington

Statute requires the state board of education to establish a statewide formula for an authorizer oversight fee, which is to be calculated as a percentage of the state operating funding provided to charters. It provides that this amount may not be more than 4% and that it may involve a sliding scale that takes into consideration such factors as the number of schools per authorizer and the number of years that an authorizer has been operating. The law requires authorizers to separately account for such fees and report them annually to the state board of education.

Statute allows authorizers to provide separately contracted, fee-based services in addition to their oversight responsibilities, but such fees cannot cost more than market rates and cannot be required as a condition of being approved.

8

Wisconsin

Wisconsin law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0

Wyoming

Wyoming law includes none of the model law's provisions for adequate authorizer funding.

0