For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
New York City Charter Schools Still Suffer Funding Disparity, University of Arkansas Study Says
U of Arkansas gives NYC a “D” grade for funding inequity between charters and districts
Albany, NY – The University of Arkansas today released Charter School Funding: Inequity in the City, a study looking at 14 cities across the nation, including New York City, and the funding differences between charter and district schools.
According to the report, charter school students receive on average $5,721 less per-pupil than their peers in traditional public schools, on average. New York City charter students see $5,008 less for their education than children in district schools.
The study found that in eight locations – including NYC – the charter funding disparity has grown since 2003. You can view the report here.
Northeast Charter Schools Network New York State Director Andrea Rogers said, "This new study provides more hard evidence highlighting what we've been saying for years: charter school children in New York City and across the state are systematically shortchanged.
"In addition to being denied equal public funding, charters receive less non-public funding as well. Despite flashy headlines suggesting all charters are awash in charitable donations, the data show traditional district schools in New York City receive more philanthropic dollars, too.
"We’re talking about public school children and treating them fairly; this data show that we are not there yet. Unfortunately, without intervention from lawmakers, the new funding scheme established by this year's state budget is expected to make things worse. Charters in every corner of the state must grapple with the reality of a new charter funding formula that will inevitably increase the operational disparity over time.”
Study highlights specific to NYC include:
- FY 2014 data show a revenue disparity of over $5,000 between what charter and traditional students receive, which is 19 percent.
- Charitable giving does not explain the gap. The data shows traditional schools actually receive more nonpublic revenue than charter schools do, despite flashy headlines suggesting charters are awash in philanthropic contributions.
- The difference in special education enrollment in charters is only two percent and the analysis reveals that spending on special education services does not explain the funding gap. Simply put, after adjusting for special education expenditures, charters still receive $4,487 fewer dollars per student than traditional schools.
- In 2003, when the researchers first examined charter funding disparities in some of these places, NYC experienced virtually no revenue inequity but now the gap is significant.
- This study did not address co-location status.
- The approach is a revenue analysis, which the researchers chose specifically because it is "grounded in a concept of equal funding for equal purpose, the purpose being public education."
The report was conducted by analysis of all sources of public education revenue, including federal, state, local, and nonpublic dollars, during the 2013-14 school year for 14 cities across the nation where there is a high concentration of enrollment in charter schools. In addition to New York City, these cities include Atlanta, Boston, Camden, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Memphis, Oakland, San Antonio, Tulsa, and Washington, D.C.
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network: The Northeast Charter Schools Network is the membership and advocacy organization for the more than 250 charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools.
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