May 13, 2021

Analysis: New study shows that charter schools do not ‘drain’ funds from traditional public classrooms; opposite seems to be true

Last fall, Governor Newsom approved a new state law, Assembly Bill No. 1505, which gave local districts more control over the opening of new charter schools and the renewal of existing schools’ charters. In addition, the new law revises the process for appealing rejected charter school applications.

Although it remains to be seen whether this bill will ultimately hinder the growth of charter schools in CA, that certainly seemed to be the goal. Yet, a new study commissioned by our organization counters one of the most common criticisms that’s leveled at them: that charter schools “drain” money from traditional public schools.

The study uses enrollment and fiscal data reported by traditional school districts between 2000 and 2017 to analyze the relationship between the proportion of students attending charter schools not approved by the local school district and the finances of host school districts in twenty-one states, including the Golden State.

Perhaps surprisingly, the study finds that host districts’ total revenues per pupil actually increased in most states as the percentage of local students who enrolled in charter schools rose.

Click here for the full article…