ICYMI: Setting the Record Straight: Public Charter Schools and Funding

Nonpartisan research institutions, editorial boards, and opinion leaders across the Commonwealth have rejected the idea that public charter schools take money from public education, calling the claim everything from “absurd” to “an outright lie.”

According to The Boston Globe, “[charter schools] don’t siphon off state dollars meant for the traditional schools; the funding charters receive reflects the amount the state and district would spend educating a charter’s students if they were in the district schools,” and “there is no charter line in the budget, just one pot of education funding for public schools.”

According to Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe, “the truth is that the budget for Boston Public Schools has risen every year, from $737 million in 2011 to more than $1 billion today. That’s a 25 percent increase, greater than the growth in the budgets of police, fire, and the city itself…If that’s what starving looks like, where do I sign up?”

According to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, “the contention that the Boston school budget is being affected by the increase in charter school tuition is not accurate.”

The Boston Herald calls the argument “absurd”, noting that teachers unions have used this argument “to scapegoat charter schools”.”

The Lowell Sun calls the claims “ill-informed union arguments and outright lies.”

The Pioneer Institute notes that “Charter detractors would have the public believe that charter schools drain funding from their district counterparts.  Charter public schools may attract students away from other public schools, but they certainly do not drain those schools of funding..the loss of students to charter schools actually increases district [school] budgets for a period of time.”

The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune says “Charter schools are, in fact, public schools — funded with public money and subject to the same performance requirements as municipal public schools.”

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