The National Alliance advocates for funding for the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) to meet parental demand by creating new schools and replicating charter schools that are producing results. The National Alliance also works to advocate for other sources of funding for charter schools, such as the New Market Tax Credits which are integral for investing in charter school facilities.
School Building Equity
Access to public school facilities is perhaps the single largest impediment to the growth of the sector. Despite being public schools, charter schools are not able to access public school buildings and the same financing tools to build schools as district-operated schools.
Several issues may contribute to these challenges, including limited funding, expensive private leases, and school districts obstructing their ability to acquire available campus space. As a result, charter schools are forced to expend a disproportionate amount of their resources and time to address ongoing facilities challenges.
Charter schools struggle to obtain school sites that fit all of their students’ needs. They look for sites that are in the right location, have enough classrooms, and provide access to important non-classroom space, like lunchrooms, auditoriums, and gyms. Once they have found a school site that meets their needs, they often struggle with facilities payments. Charter schools must pay their rent or mortgage costs directly out of their operating budgets, whereas district-operated schools do not incur these same costs in their general funds. Every dollar that a charter school spends on facilities is a dollar that isn't going directly to educating students.
The National Alliance recognizes that facilities are an essential component to the success of a charter school, and we advocate for charter schools to secure and retain long term, high-quality, affordable school space. Through aggressive advocacy, we continue to pursue the mission of ensuring that charter schools have access to facility financing options that enable them to meet their current and future needs.
Read the results of comprehensive statewide facilities studies, conducted by the National Charter School Resource Center, The Charter School Facilities Initiative (developed and managed by the Colorado League of Charter Schools), the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and various state charter support organizations. Learn more about the initiative.