State lawmakers say public schools may be paying more than their fair share to support charter schools. That’s the major finding of a legislative report about the school system’s "fair funding formula."
The fair funding formula requires public schools to pay charter schools a certain amount per student that opts to attend a charter school instead. That amount is calculated on how much public schools spend per pupil. But it includes expenses charter schools haven’t had to worry about.
That’s according to a new report from a legislative commission led by Lincoln and Pawtucket state representative Jeremiah O’Grady.
For example, public schools spent nearly $100 million dollars last year on high-cost special education services for disabled kids. But charter schools spent only about a half million dollars on these services. The upshot is that public schools may be bearing more of the expense of caring for high-need students.
The commission also finds that charter schools are paying their own building costs with no local support.