Funding Formula at the Center of Coatesville School District’s Battle with Charter Schools

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The Coatesville Area School District is facing more program and staff cuts if there is no solution found to its funding battle with charter schools, writes Fran Maye for the Daily Local News.

Last week, Coatesville school directors voted 7-1 to adopt a resolution that calls for a fair charter school funding formula.

According to school officials, the main problem is that school districts have to pay charter schools based on student enrollment. Coatesville pays $11,500 per pupil per year for students who choose to attend Collegium or Avon Grove Charter.

With the number of students who are choosing the charter schools growing rapidly, the payments Coatesville has to make to charters have grown to $54 million per year.

Much of this problem is the $40,000 Coatesville has to pay per special education student, even if the student only needs minimal classes for a hearing impediment.

“Where did the extra dollars go? We simply do not know,” said Robert Fisher, Coatesville school director. “Charter schools are not held to the same standard as public schools, and are not required to provide the same level of public accountability as a public school district.”

Read more about the funding issue in the Daily Local News here.