Bellweather Education Partners has a new report out today called “Location, Location, Location: How would a high-performing charter school network fare in different states?” Authors Andrew Rotherham (of Eduwonk fame) and Chris Lozier (CFO of Civitas Schools) have conducted a “thought experiment” focusing on a highly-regarded charter school network in California – Aspire Public Schools — that faces a problem endemic to charters: how can these schools scale up and achieve sustainability? And, given California’s general underfunding of public education, how would Aspire fare in a more generous state?
Read the report to find out for yourself. But here’s a few New Jersey tidbits:
- Aspire would have benefited by operating in NJ, because we fund charters at per-pupil revenue (PPR) of $12,442 (based on 2009-2010 data), which compares favorably with California’s $9,987. D.C., NY, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Minnesota are the only states that outspend us on charter schools pupils.
- However, when compared to our expenditures on non-charter public school students, we’re skinflints. The PPR for non-charter NJ kids is $19,614 (the report uses a geographic normalizing index to balance out differences in cost of living, rentals, wage differences, etc.). For context’s sake, the U.S. average is $11,052 PPR.
- NJ’s disparity in PPR for public charter students and public non-charter students lofts us way high on the inequity scale. Our funding disparity is 36.4%, which ranks us above only California, NY, and D.C. for that category.