New research shows charters positively impact district funds

By February 9, 2021 Research

Charter opponents often claim that public charter schools “drain” funds from traditional district schools. But is this really true?

A new report out today from the Fordham Institute, Robbers or Victims? Charter Schools and District Finances, provides real answers. It serves as a powerful–and evidence-based–rebuttal of opponents’ claims. Charters generally do not drain funds from districts, according to report author Mark Weber of New Jersey Policy Perspective. In fact, in quite a few states, the local districts in which charters are situated actually benefit.

Here’s the big finding, according to Fordham:

“In most states, charter schools are boosting host districts’ total revenue and spending per pupil.”

The study, which evaluated 17 years of data (between 2000 and 2017), assessed 21 states. In 15 of these states, including North Carolina, “A greater independent charter market share was associated with a statistically significant increase in host districts’ total revenue per student.”

See a key graphic from the report here:

Read more here.