CCSA Statement on LAO Report Comparing Funding for Charter Schools and Their School District Peers

January 26, 2012

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA
(916) 448-0995 ext. 302

The following statement was issued today by Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) regarding the release by the California Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) of a report comparing funding for charter schools and their school district peers.

Today's Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) report confirms the funding inequity of at least 7%, or $395 per student, that exists between California charter public schools and their traditional school counterparts. This analysis is consistent with our own examination of state funding and with other recent studies of funding equity between charters and traditional public schools.

The large gap--up to $1,068 per student for some charter schools--outlined in the report exists in spite of the Legislature's intent to provide school districts and charter schools serving similar student populations with comparable Proposition 98 operational funding.
In addition to the funding disparities described in the report, charters face several unique challenges around funding that were not factored into the analysis including: access to school bonds, parcel taxes, and short-term borrowing instruments, facilities costs and federal funding sources such as special education.

We commend the LAO for its thorough analysis and recommended improvements to ensure that charter schools and district schools would receive comparable funding for all students on a lasting basis. These findings and recommendations are welcomed not only by the California Charter Schools Association and our members, but by the parents of the 412,000 public school students served by the state's charters.

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 982 charter public schools and more than 412,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California's student population. For more information, please visit

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