Funding equity is coming to Missouri charter schools. Currently, the state still has quite a small charter movement–just 26,000 students. Charter schools operate just in St. Louis and Kansas City. Yet, the state’s charter movement has faced funding challenges similar to other states. That is beginning to change: At the end of June, Governor Mike Parsons signed HB 1552, introducing funding equity for Missouri charter schools.
Fixing disparities in local funding for charter schools
Dean Johnson, the president of the Quality Schools Coalition, writes about the path to victory in today’s issue of the Charter Folk newsletter. Before the law, charter students’ funding lagged district students’ funding by 20-30%, Johnson writes. Inequities arose from local funding disparities; the law fixes that “glitch” in the funding formula. Now, HB 1552 will increase charter funding by $62 million a year. The law takes effect this school year, on August 28.
In Missouri, the path to victory was populated with parents
Johnson attributes the victory to several factors, including groups coalescing around one “consensus priority,” engaging with others across the aisle, and investing for the duration. (The law’s passage took three years to accomplish.) He also credits the power of parent advocacy. Here’s what he writes about that:
In 2019 parents were advocating, but the overall effort was nascent. Legislators would tell us, “I just don’t hear from charter school parents. But I sure hear from charter opponents.” But on the last day of the 2022 legislative session, after funding equity was headed to the governor’s desk, a legislator said to me as we passed in the hall, “Can you please have the charter school parents stop calling me now?”
See Johnson’s full column on Charter Folk’s site.
Read more about HB 1552 in the Missouri Independent.
View the statement from the Missouri Charter Public Schools Association.
The Coalition, working to achieve funding equity for N.C. charter schools
A key objective for the Coalition is achieving funding equity for North Carolina charter schools. How do we do that? We work to remedy existing inequities within per pupil local funding as well as state-level grants that have omitted access for charter schools. Learn more about our legislative goals here.