Delaware Ranked 5th in Charter School funding Gap
Last month, a study by Ball State University reported that funding for our nation’s charter schools is significantly lower than funding for traditional public schools. Delaware is one of the worst offenders of this funding gap with a difference of $3,665 per pupil. This is in comparison with the national average of a $2,247 difference per pupil. In the Wilmington area, the difference is larger still with a funding gap at a whopping $4,604 per student. This finding echoes from the 2008 LEAD Committee report on funding.
This funding discrepancy is largely the result of a lack of access to capital construction funding for charter schools. In Delaware, our district schools raise money for capital construction costs via property tax referendums but charter schools don’t have this option. Charter schools have access to facilities funding via tax-exempt bonds from the Delaware Economic Development Authority, but this isn’t exactly equal since these need to be paid back with interest.
If we want all of our students to succeed it is imperative that we enact an equitable funding system for all of our schools.
For more Delaware coverage on this report, see this recent article from the Middletown Transcript.