Pennsylvania’s charter school students receive 32 percent less than their counterparts in a district school.

There are several contributing factors that led to this inequity, but the biggest culprit is a charter school’s lack of access to the same facilities funding available to school districts.

In our report, Charter Facilities: The Missing Link in Funding Equity, we explore the facilities funding currently available to charter schools, how Pennsylvania stacks-up to other states and what policy changes would level the playing field.

What we found is that Pennsylvania is lagging far behind other states in providing adequate and appropriate facilities funding for the students served by brick-and-mortar charter schools. For example, Pennsylvania reimburses charter schools for facilities at a rate of $160-$270 per student; in DC, charters are reimbursed at a rate of $3,000 per-pupil.

In order to remedy this inequity, and ensure that no public school student is shortchanged, we offer five policy recommendations (many of which are successfully being utilized by other states) that should be considered by lawmakers when crafting solutions for Pennsylvania.

It is our hope that as the conversation around education funding continues in the coming months policy leaders in Harrisburg will make funding equity a top priority.

Publish date: April 2016 Number of pages: 15