It is hard to understand why anyone thinks that charter schools have. O fiscal impact on public schools. There is only one pot of money for education, and not many (or any) states are expanding that pot. The Trump administration wants to cut the federal education budget and divert more money to charters and vouchers.

This is a post about a new study by Duke University economist Helen Ladd and John Singleton that nails down the fiscal Harm that charter schools do to public schools.

Here is the summary.

Here is the study.

Here is the abstract:

”A significant criticism of the charter school movement is that funding for charter schools diverts money away from traditional public schools. As shown in prior work by Bifulco and Reback (2014) for two urban districts in New York, the magnitude of such adverse fiscal externalities depends in part on the nature of state and local funding policies. In this paper, we build on their approach to examine the fiscal effects of charter schools on both urban and non-urban school districts in North Carolina. We base our analysis on detailed balance sheet information for a sample of school districts that experienced significant charter entry since the statewide cap on charters was raised in 2011. This detailed budgetary information permits us to estimate a range of fiscal impacts using a variety of different assumptions. We find a large and negative fiscal impact from $500-$700 per pupil in our one urban school district and somewhat smaller, but still significant, fiscal externalities on the non-urban districts in our sample.”

Public schools that are underfunded must cut their budgets so that a small minority of students can attend charter schools. It makes no sense.