NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 18, 2006

Charter schools in Ohio are not only creating academic success stories in urban areas, they are doing so with positive financial impacts on both the local urban school districts and the state budget, according to a new policy brief by the Buckeye Institute.

Because charter schools are funded by state revenues only, increased enrollment has led to more funds available for public schools at the local level, says Matthew Carr, Director of Education Policy at the Institute, and author of the report.  In each of the Big Eight urban school districts in Ohio, the level of revenues per pupil rose in public schools in 2003 and 2004, coinciding with an increase in charter school attendance.  Some examples:

  • Columbus increased per pupil revenues by $1,410, coinciding with 1,163 students enrolling in charter schools
  • Canton increased revenues by $854 per student, and gained 143 new charter school students
  • Dayton increased $649 per student, and added 698 new students to charter schools

In addition, when accounting for all expenditure categories, including administrative, building operations, staff and pupil support and instructional costs, charter schools averaged $9,719 per student while public schools averaged $11,284.

Overall, charter schools are actually providing an effective service at a lower cost than the traditional monopoly system, says Carr.  And they do all of this while providing that monopoly with more revenue per pupil for those students who choose to stay.

Source: Matthew Carr, "The Financial Impact of Ohio's Charter Schools," Buckeye Institute, July 6, 2006

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