Research consistently finds that charter schools have a negative financial impact on traditional public school districts–and their students–particularly when they co-exist in large or growing numbers.
How and why do charters hurt public schools financially? Charter Schools and Fiscal Impact, a new brief from In the Public Interest, describes some of the most common causes and types of fiscal impact and offers suggestions for how local or state officials might address this concern.
It also explains why funding public education is so important:
“That system of universal, free public education benefits all of us, whether we have children of school age or not. It is imperative that parallel and less accountable structures such as charter schools be ‘good neighbors’ and similarly committed to ensuring that one system does not harm the other.”
The report concludes with a comprehensive list of charter fiscal impact studies.
Another recently released report, from Public Funds Public Schools, looks at how voucher programs present a similar diversion of public funds for private use, and the way the impact it has on educational outcomes.
The Fiscal Consequences of Private School Vouchers examines the growth in voucher programs and spending in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin in the decade following the Great Recession.
Among its findings: At the same time funding for vouchers climbed significantly in these seven states, the portion of state GDP allocated to K-12 public education decreased, even though public school enrollment grew over the same period in five of the seven states.