The Keystone Center for Charter Change reports on issues involving charter schools in Pennsylvania. The site is managed by Lawrence Feinberg, who is a school board member.

In some states like Texas, charter schools get more funding than public schools. In Pennsylvania, they get less, and Feinberg says this is the way it should be because public schools have more expenses than charter schools.

Do charter schools receive less funding per student than school districts? Yes, and rightfully so.

Keystone Center for Charter Change

The tuition payments received by charter schools, which make up nearly 90% of charter school funding, are based on a school district’s expenses. School districts are subject to numerous mandates requiring the expenditure of monies which charter schools are not. For example, school districts:

  • Provide transportation to students, including those attending charter schools and nonpublic schools;
  • Provide health services to nonpublic schools;
  • Identify students who are gifted and provide them with an appropriate educational program;
  • Levy, assess and collect taxes;
  • Pay tuition to charter schools; and
  • Provide access to career and technical education programs.

School districts also provide a variety of educational and extracurricular programs for students that go well beyond those offered or provided by charter schools. This includes interscholastic athletics, clubs, band, theater, and other activities. Charter schools may also provide these activities, but school districts are required to allow charter school students to participate in school district activities in most instances. These expenses alone accounted for more than 15% of school district spending in 2018-19.