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Charter School Funding in Georgia. 2010 Georgia Charter Schools Association Conference March 11-12, Marietta, Georgia Andrew W. Broy Associate State Superintendent Georgia Department of Education 404.651.8734. What do charter school founders think about?. Overview .

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charter school funding in georgia

Charter School Funding in Georgia

2010 Georgia Charter Schools Association Conference

March 11-12, Marietta, Georgia

Andrew W. Broy

Associate State Superintendent

Georgia Department of Education


  • School Funding in Georgia
  • Charter School Funding
    • Statutory requirements
  • Understanding a school’s funding
  • Commission school funding
    • Example
public school funding
Public School Funding
  • Formula-Driven
  • “Foundation Formula”
    • Guarantee base level of funding for every student in State
    • Base amount is guaranteed without regard to local property wealth: Assessed valuation per pupil does not affect base amount
public school funding con t
Public School Funding (con’t)
  • Foundation amount theoretically set at the minimum threshold to provide a “basic” education
  • Foundation amount is only starting point
    • Most districts have substantial local revenue to supplement this amount
    • Actual funding each district receives is a function of funding formula, local property valuation, and millage rate, among other things
public school funding con t1
Public School Funding (con’t)
  • Relative state and local contributions can vary dramatically
    • As a general rule, districts with high relative property wealth rely more heavily on local revenue
    • Conversely, districts with low relative property wealth rely more heavily on state revenue
public school funding con t2
Public School Funding (con’t)
  • Beware per pupil expenditure figures
  • Any number of factors can affect this calculation and figures vary greatly
    • Among districts
    • Among schools within districts
    • Facilities funding
    • Federal title funding
public school funding con t3
Public School Funding (con’t)
  • Funding itself is driven by:
    • Number of students (FTE count)
    • Characteristics of students (Special education populations; ESOL populations, Early Intervention Programs)
    • Additional categorical weights (federal funding and otherwise)
public school funding con t4
Public School Funding (con’t)
  • Base Funding weight is typically a general education high school student (1.0 FTE)
    • Other weights (Georgia as example)
      • Primary grades (1.28)
      • SPED Cat I (2.37) – SPED Cat IV (5.73)
      • Alternative education (1.59)
      • ESOL (2.49)
      • Kindergarten Early Intervention Program (2.02)
public school funding con t5
Public School Funding (con’t)
  • Why not just apportion revenues equally by pupil throughout State?
    • Theory that certain categories of students are more expensive to educate
    • Creates wrong local incentives concerning millage rates and local tax policy
    • Political difficulties (local control of local revenue)
    • Cost of living differences
charter school funding
Charter School funding
  • What type of charter school?
    • Locally approved?
      • Start-up or conversion?
      • Career academy?
    • State chartered special?
    • Commission charter school?
charter school funding1
Charter School funding
  • Charter School funding requirement:
    • “The local board and the state board shall treat a start-up charter school no less favorably than other local schools within the applicable local system with respect to the provision of funds for instruction, school administration, transportation, food services and, where feasible, building programs.”

O.C.G.A. Sec. 20-2-2068.1(a)

charter school funding2
Charter School funding
  • How is charter funding determined?
  • How much flexibility does a school have?
  • How are funds currently allotted?
    • Salaries, 70-75%
    • Facilities costs, 10-15%
    • Vendor contracts and supplies, 10-12%
pupil counts
Pupil Counts
  • FTE Count serves as basis for funding
  • 2 FTE counts
    • Fall count - First Tuesday in October
    • Spring count - First Thursday in March
  • Pupil count factors in previous 3 FTE Counts (note: weighted to prioritize most recent count)
    • Floating average
    • Implication: Schools – not just charter schools – are “behind”
pupil counts1
Pupil Counts
  • Case study
    • Charter school in second year of operation
    • School has 100 students in year one, 200 students in current year
    • FTE count will take into account 3 FTE counts (Fall 2007; Spring 2008; Fall 2008)
      • 100 + 100 + 200
      • Particular issue with charter schools that add a grade
determining funding
Determining funding
  • Allotment sheet
  • Type of school
    • Start-up, conversion: federal, state, local
    • State chartered special: federal, state
    • Commission: federal, state, local approximation (less 3% withhold on all funds except federal)
determining funding general case
Determining funding – general case
  • Allotment sheet
  • Calculate state share
    • Earned by pupil
    • Add categorical programs (central admin, media center, etc.)
    • If state chartered special school, stop
  • Determine what local share should be
    • Compare district’s state allotment to school’s state allotment
    • Create ratio
determining funding general case1
Determining funding – general case
  • Allotment sheet
  • Use that ratio to determine local share
  • Example:
    • $1,000,000 in state funding
    • $100,000,000 in district state funding
    • Ratio: 1:100
    • Total local property tax digest equals $75,000,000
    • How much local funding due charter?
determining funding specific case
Determining funding – specific case
  • Allotment sheet
  • Calculate state share
    • Set aside by pupil
    • Add categorical programs (central admin, media center, etc.)
  • Determine what local approximation should be
    • Take average per pupil in local district and provide that to the school based on a pro rata share
ivy prep bottom line
Ivy Prep bottom line
  • 2009 as State Chartered Special School
    • Total students: 138
    • Total funding: $435,694
    • $3,157 per pupil
  • 2010 as Commission School
    • Total students: 306
    • Total funding: $2,224,871
    • $7,270 per pupil.
  • Gwinnet average: $7,997