Funding

In order to show real alternatives for the larger public school system, charter schools were intended to receive equal public funding: no more and no less than local district schools, on a per-student basis. While this equity does not yet extend to facilities funding, charter schools’ operating funds come from a per-pupil formula based on what the local district spends.

Charter schools are independently-run public schools that have served at-risk students in New York State since 1999. By the fall of 2011, there will be 136 charter schools in New York City serving 45,000 students, spread across every grade level and borough. Yet even after more than a decade of experience with charter schools, questions and misunderstandings about them persist.

How do the funding levels compare, and the funding streams interact, for New York City charter and district schools? The City's Independent Budget Office (IBO) has issued three analyses on this topic, to which the Charter Center has responded with increasing, detailed criticism. The NYC Department of Education has also raised strong objections.