Bloomington Charter School Provides Insight on Funding

A proposal currently being debated at the Indiana Statehouse would expand charter schools in Indiana.

Most people would guess the debate is charter schools vs. public schools. But what most people don’t know is that charter schools are funded with taxpayer money. Daniel Baron, one of two head leaders in charge at the Bloomington Project School, said people believe supporting a charter schools means abandoning public ones. But that’s not actually the case.

“The controversy comes around money I think, because the way charter schools are funded is the tuition support the state gives to every child that goes to a public school in the state follows the child to the school they go to,” Baron said.

Baron said because the state doesn’t provide funds for transportation, building costs, food or technology, and with a significantly smaller administration than in public schools, charter schools actually operate using less money.

“Our overhead is so much lower both in facilities and in administration,” Baron said. “We have two co-school leaders, a business manager and that’s our administration…So I would say charter schools are running more efficiently, on less money than school systems that have huge bureaucracies.”

He said while he would like to see increased support from the state for charter schools, current legislation if passed, would give mayors chartering authority. Something he fears would water down their quality and ultimately cause them to suffer from the same problems public schools have.

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