Dr. Rich Patterson

How Are Charter Schools Funded? — Part 4

In general charter schools receive money from the state and from the local school district based on the number of students they enroll.  All schools/districts/charters receive additional money from the federal government for the special education students, who are funded at a higher level than a regular student.   They may also have money from a sponsor, corporation, or other donations that they use to invest in the charter.  The federal government also gives grants specifically to a charter school to help them expand.

As discussed in the previous three posts, charters usually specialize in a particular need or focus that they feel aren’t being met in the state, school district or city.  For example, they may offer an emphasis on STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and work to attract students that are attracted to those fields.  Individuals also invest personal wealth in charter schools such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Walmart, Michael Bloomberg and many others.  A charter school will have a contract with the local school district or the state which spells out the funding that they will receive from a district and state resources.  These other incomes mentioned here can serve as money to enhance what they already receive.

Details or variations on a theme vary, depending on the laws for a particular state, concerning charter schools.  Not all states have charter schools but the last count was 44 states offer a charter school opportunity.

Source:  Prothero, Arianna. (2018) Charter Schools: 7 Common Questions, Answered.  Education Week, August 9, 2018.