How are charter schools funded?
Charter schools are public schools and mostly funded by taxpayers. A charter school receives funding from the school district(s) where its students reside. The District deducts a portion of its per pupil spending (i.e., debt service, federal funds, special education, adult education, transportation costs, facility and construction improvement). In Pennsylvania, the per-pupil allotment is typically about 75-80% of the student's home school district's total per-pupil allotment. This means that charter schools operate with less public funding than the District schools. Further, charter schools must fund their facilities (lease, purchase and building maintenance) from this fixed funding stream because they cannot raise taxes. The per-pupil allotment is the only local funding that a charter school receives. Per-pupil allotment figures are calculated using Form PDE 363. A regular education allotment figure is determined for children not requiring special education services. An additional special education allotment figure is calculated to fund special education services for children who have Individual Education Plans. Form PDE 363 can be viewed HERE.
Video credit: Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools
Comparison of Spending per Student for 2017-18 Budgeted Expenditures and Average Daily Membership
SASD's total budgeted expenditure is $124,446,080 with a total average daily membership of 6470.36 total students. This calculates to spending an average of $19,233.25 per student.
SCSC's total budgeted expenditure is $3,207,587 and a total average daily membership of 231 total students. This calculates to spending an average of $13,885.66 per student. The difference in spending per student is 27.8%.