New Report Finds Charter Schools Receive Significantly Lower Funding than Other Public Schools

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today the University of Arkansas released a report that shows public charter schools now receive $3,509 less per pupil than traditional public schools. Charter Funding: Inequity Expands reveals the disparity is greatest in major cities and that the funding gap has grown in recent years.

This report is a stark reminder of the funding inequity that exists for public charter school students, said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. One in 20 children in America now attends a public charter school and there is no justifiable reason why their schools should receive fewer dollars than other public schools. What makes this particularly frustrating is that the disparity continues to grow, rising by nearly 55 percent over the past eight years. We must remind state and local leaders of the impact their policy decisions have on our students and work to ensure we are closing this funding gap.

The report, based on data from Fiscal Year 2011, found state funding deficits ranged from $365 in New Mexico to as much as $12,736 in Washington, D.C. In urban areas the disparity was greatest on average traditional public schools received $4,352 more per pupil than charter schools. The report also found that public charter schools received fewer private and philanthropic donations per pupil than traditional public schools.

Since 2010, all but one independent research study has found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

Public charter schools have proven time and again that they are doing an effective job educating some of our most disadvantaged kids, Rees continued. But too often, potential school leaders are discouraged from opening a charter school due to limited resources. We should be doing everything we can to make sure more public charter schools are able to access the resources they need to offer high-quality education options.

Click here to readCharter Funding: Inequity Expandsand view state specific data.


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 our website at

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