Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org
Per-Pupil Funding

At the present time, 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have enacted charter school laws, so this database only contains information for them. It does not contain any information for the 10 states that have not enacted charter school laws.

How is the funding for a charter school determined?
Alaska : Charter Schools (2005) A charter school shall receive an amount generated by students enrolled in the charter school minus a portion for administrative costs, which are determined by applying an indirect cost rate approved by the state department of education. The amount generated by students enrolled in the charter school is determined in the same manner as it is for a student enrolled in another public school in that school district.
Arizona : Charter Schools (2005) For charter schools authorized by local school boards, funding is calculated by the state through a per-pupil formula. As part of the contract between a local school board and a charter school, a local school board may withhold a negotiated portion of the funding for oversight. For other charter schools, funding is determined by a similar per-pupil formula.
Arkansas : Charter Schools (2005) A conversion charter school receives funds equal to the amount apportioned by the school district from state and local revenue per average daily membership. An open enrollment charter school receives funds equal to the minimum state and local revenue per average daily membership.
California : Charter Schools (2005) Funding for most state general-purpose and categorical programs follows students, based on average school district per-pupil revenue. Charter schools do not receive transportation, desegregation and other specified funds. Special education funding is negotiated locally through regional consortia.
Colorado : Charter Schools (2005) For charter schools authorized by local school boards, 100% of the per-pupil revenue flows to charter schools, less an amount for specified administrative costs based on actual district spending as reported to the state. The administrative amount is limited to 5%, except in districts with 500 or fewer students, where it is limited to 15%. For charter schools authorized by the state charter institute, 100% the per-pupil revenue flows to charter schools, less up to 5% for for the state charter school institute's administrative costs and up to 2% for the state department of education's administrative costs.
Connecticut : Charter Schools (2005) For local charter schools, specified in the charter. For state charter schools, the state pays $7,360 per-pupil to the charter school. However, funding for state charter schools is directly dependent on state's annual appropriation.
Delaware : Charter Schools (2005) 100% of state funding based on state unit funding formula and 100% of local funding based on previous year per-pupil expenditure in a student's school district of residence follows students.
District of Columbia : Charter Schools (2005) 100% of operations funding follows students, based on District of Columbia per-pupil formula.
Florida : Charter Schools (2005) Students enrolled in a charter school shall be funded as if they are in a basic program or a special program, the same as students enrolled in other public schools in the school district.
Georgia : Charter Schools (2005) A specific funding formula dictates the minimum amount of funding a charter school must receive, with funding beyond the minimum negotiated with sponsor school district and specified in the charter. A state chartered special school may not receive local tax dollars that a charter school approved by a local school board receives.
Hawaii : Charter Schools (2005) As determined annually, a per pupil amount for each regular education and special education student, which shall be equivalent to the total per pupil cost based upon average enrollment in all cost categories, including comprehensive school support services but excluding special education services, for all means of financing except federal funds, as reported in the most recently published department of education consolidated annual financial report.
Idaho : Charter Schools (2005) Within the state's educational support program, the state calculates the support units for each charter school as outlined in state law.
Illinois : Charter Schools (2005) Negotiated with sponsor school district and specified in charter, but not less than 75% or more than 125% of per-capita student tuition multiplied by the number of students residing in the district who are enrolled in the charter school.
Indiana : Charter Schools (2005) Charter schools receive 100% of the per-pupil funding that traditional schools receive.
Iowa : Charter Schools (2005) A charter school is considered a part of the school district in which it is located for purposes of state school foundation aid.
Kansas : Charter Schools (2005) Discretion of school district.
Louisiana : Charter Schools (2005) For locally-approved charter schools, 100% of state and school district operation funding follows students, based on average school district per-pupil revenue. For state-approved charter schools, 100% of funding, in the amount of the average per-pupil revenue of their resident school district. State-approved charters receive no school district funds.
Maryland : Charter Schools (2005) A county school board disburses to a charter school an amount of county, state and federal money that is commensurate with the amount disbursed to other public schools in the local jurisdiction.
Massachusetts : Charter Schools (2005) The tuition amount for each commonwealth charter school is determined by a funding formula that is based on the Massachusetts foundation budget formula for non-charter public school districts. This base amount is adjusted by the percentage of “above foundation” spending of each charter school student’s sending district, and a flat per-pupil facilities aid amount. Horace Mann charter school funding is determined annually as part of their local school committee’s budget process.
Michigan : Charter Schools (2005) 100% of state and school district operations funding follows students, based on average school district per-pupil revenue, not to exceed a certain amount that rises from year to year based on state aid formula.
Minnesota : Charter Schools (2005) State portion of operations funding follows students, based on average state per-pupil revenue. School district portion of operations funding does not follow students.
Mississippi : Charter Schools (2005) 100% of per-pupil funding.
Missouri : Charter Schools (2005) 100% of state foundation formula entitlement per-pupil for the school district less the school district's per-pupil amount for revenue bond indebtedness. Additional funding may be available for specific student populations.
Nevada : Charter Schools (2005) 100% of per-pupil funding.
New Hampshire : Charter Schools (2005) For charter schools approved by a local school board and the state board of education, a minimum of 80% of the per-pupil expenditure in the school district follows a student to school. For charter schools approved by the state board of education, the state's contribution to public education follows a student to school.
New Jersey : Charter Schools (2005) 90% of state-mandated minimum per-pupil spending.
New Mexico : Charter Schools (2005) The amount of funding allocated to the charter school shall be not less than 98% of the school-generated program cost, provided that the portion of the school-generated program cost not allocated to the charter school shall be allocated to the school district in which the charter school is located.
New York : Charter Schools (2005) School districts are required to provide 100% of a state-specified per-pupil funding calculation, although this amount may be reduced pursuant to an agreement between the school and the charter authorizer set forth in the charter.
North Carolina : Charter Schools (2005) The state board of education shall allocate to each charter school: an amount equal to the average per pupil allocation for average daily membership from the school district allotments in which the charter school is located for each child attending the charter school except for the allocation for children with special needs and for the allocation for children with limited English proficiency; an addition amount for each child attending the charter school who is a child with special needs; and an additional amount for children with limited English proficiency attending the charter school, based on a formula adopted by the state board of education. If a student attends a charter school, the school district in which the child resides shall transfer to the charter school an amount equal to the per pupil local current expense appropriation to the school district for the fiscal year.
Ohio : Charter Schools (2005) A statewide base cost formula with adjustments, which includes a county-level cost of doing business factor.
Oklahoma : Charter Schools (2005) At least 95% of average daily expenditure.
Oregon : Charter Schools (2005) For locally approved charter schools, at least 80% of the amount of the school district's general purpose grant per weighted average daily membership for K-8 and at least 95% of the amount of the school district's general purpose grant per weighted average daily membership for 9-12. For state approved charter schools, at least 90% of the amount of the school district's general purpose grant per weighted average daily membership for K-8 and at least 95% for 9-12 of the amount of the school district's general purpose grant per weighted average daily membership.
Pennsylvania : Charter Schools (2005) Relevant funding follows students, based on average school district per-pupil budgeted expenditure of the previous year. For regional charter schools and nonresident students, funds come from the school district of a student's residence. Charter schools receive additional funding for special needs students, or may request the intermediate unit to assist in providing special-needs services at the same cost as provided to a school district's schools.
Puerto Rico : Charter Schools (2005) Secretary of education determines the per-pupil funding level for charter schools.
Rhode Island : Charter Schools (2005) The funding for each charter school consists of state revenue and municipal or district revenue in the same proportions that funding is provided to other schools within the school district in which the charter school is located. The state deducts and gives 5% of the state revenue to the school district for indirect cost support. A charter school may negotiate with a school district to determine the cost of services that the charter school wants the school district to provide.
South Carolina : Charter Schools (2005) A school district distributes state, county and school district funds to a charter school as determined by a formula outlined in state law.
Tennessee : Charter Schools (2005) A local school board allocates 100% of the state and local education funds to a charter school based on the per-pupil expenditures of the school district, which are based on the prior year's average daily membership for the school district.
Texas : Charter Schools (2005) For district-approved charters, funding is negotiated with sponsor school district and specified in charter. For open-enrollment charters, state operations and maintenance funding follows students.
Utah : Charter Schools (2005) A conversion charter school sponsored by a local school board receives its funding on the same basis as it did prior to its conversion. A charter school sponsored by a local school board and located in a school district facility receives its funding on the same basis as other public schools in the school district. Any other charter schools sponsored by a local school board and charter schools sponsored by the state charter school board receive their funds on the same basis as a school district receives funds.
Virginia : Charter Schools (2005) 100% of per-pupil funding, with fees negotiated.
Wisconsin : Charter Schools (2005) The funding for a charter school authorized by a city, university or technical college is determined by state law. According to state law, such a charter school receives an amount equal to the sum of the amount paid per pupil in the previous school year and the amount of revenue increase per pupil allowed in the current school year, multiplied by the number of pupils attending the charter school. The funding for a charter school authorized by a local school board is determined through negotiations between the charter school and the local school board.
Wyoming : Charter Schools (2005) Guaranteed 95% of funding generated by the charter school's average daily membership, minus certain adjustments. 100% of major maintenance payments. Any other funding is negotiated with the school district.


© 2013 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail ecs@ecs.org.
Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy