Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

State Board Allocates Funds To Charter Schools

The State Board of Education announced Friday that 33 charter schools in the state will split almost $40 million from the Common School Fund as part of a new initiative laid out in the state budget.

The biennial budget passed during the 2015 legislative session earmarked money for charter schools that can be used for anything including technology, transportation, capital or any other needs.

Charter schools don’t receive property tax money like traditional public schools, which is why the legislature added this line item to the budget.

The money is an advance, so as a way to “repay” it, the state will automatically withhold funds from the schools from their state allocations.

“The State is steadfast in the belief that students attending public charter schools deserve equal access to quality facilities and technology. Since public charter schools receive zero property tax revenue for facilities, transportation and technology, this program helps to offset those funding disparities,” said Sarah O’Brien, Vice Chair of the Indiana State Board of Education, in a statement. “The Board’s decision to place a per-pupil cap on the advance amount also helps to protect taxpayers by limiting a school’s ability to borrow more than it can afford to repay.”

The budget allows for the INSBOE to allocate $50 million over two years, so there will be $10 million left to award next year. Schools receiving an A, B or C on the state’s accountability system were eligible to apply for the grant. Charter schools receiving a D or F could apply if this grade was on par with or better than their closest traditional public school.

Schools could not receive more than $5 million. The most awarded in this round of advances was $1 million.

View the entire list of schools receiving money and the per pupil amount here.



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