National Alliance Statement on University of Arkansas Charter School Funding Report

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the University of Arkansas released Charter School Funding: (More) Inequity in the City, which finds that public charter schools in 14 cities received, on average, 27 percent less total revenue than traditional public schools. The study examined federal, state, local, and nonpublic dollars (such as individual donations and grants from charitable organizations) received by public schools during the 2015-2016 school year in 14 cities across the country that have a high charter school enrollment: Atlanta, Boston, Camden (NJ), Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Little Rock (AR), Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans*, New York City, Oakland, San Antonio, Tulsa, and Washington, D.C. 

National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees has released the following statement:

"We are disappointed—but, unfortunately, not surprised—by the University of Arkansas’s findings that public charter school students receive an average of $5,828 less per-pupil funding than traditional public-school students. Over the years that researchers have conducted these studies, we had hoped this funding gap would close, but it has in fact worsened, driven primarily by gaps in local funding.

Fortunately, this funding gap can be eliminated if states develop a funding formula based on student need that delivers public resources equitably to all public-school students, including public charter school students. We look forward to the day when all public-school students can access the resources they deserve and call on state lawmakers to prioritize finding solutions to close this funding gap.”

*New Orleans is treated separately in this analysis.

About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit