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Funding

STATE CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDING

State charter schools, like all public schools, receive any reductions made to the K-12 funding formula.

No local tax money flows to state charter schools.  The additional state dollars included in the state charter funding formula are intended to partially offset the loss of local dollars when a charter application is denied by a local school board. 


EXPLANATION OF FUNDING CALCULATION

All funding for state charter schools comes from the state, and the allocation for each student in a state charter school is determined by adding these four components:

  1. QBE formula earnings based on the school’s enrollment, school profile and student characteristics,
  2. a proportional share of the earned state categorical grants (transportation and school nutrition),
  3. the average amount of the total revenues less federal revenues other than equalization grants per student for the five school districts with the lowest tax digests; (local five mill share will be deducted for state charter schools), and
  4. the state-wide average total capital revenue per student (determined by a formula that looks at the total collection from E-SPLOST statewide plus the total state allocation for capital outlay to local school districts divided by the total number of students statewide).  

EXPLANATION OF DEDUCTIONS

Austerity:
 
  • State Charters receive the same austerity deduction that all public schools receive.
  • The austerity in the FY 2015 budget equaled approximately 9.7% of the Statewide “State Funds” (State Funds = Total QBE Earnings less the LFMS).  Therefore, each district’s/state charter school’s “State Funds” were multiplied by 9.7% to get a respective austerity value.

Local Five Mill Share (LFMS):

  • Since FY 2013 the legislature has proposed budgets that deducts the equivalent of a LFMS deduction from State Charter Schools’ funding.
  • The LFMS deduction is taken only from the state charter supplement that is allocated to offset the lack of local dollars.  The deduction amount is calculated from the average LFMS per FTE of the lowest five systems ranked by assessed valuation (tax digest) per weighted FTE count. 

Commission Withhold:

  • State charter schools are deducted up to 3% of their overall budgets to cover operating expenses of the State Charter School Commission (SCSC).  
  • For Fiscal Year 2015 (2015), the SCSC voluntarily reduced the administrative withholding amount to 2% for existing schools and to 1% for new schools in their first year of operation.

EXPLANATION OF CHARTER SUPPLEMENT

Because state charter schools do not receive a share of local revenue, the funding formula for state charters includes the addition of state funds to offset the reduced opportunity for revenue.  The charter supplement has two components:

  1. State funds equal to the average amount of local revenue and state equalization grant funding for the five school districts with the lowest assessed valuation per student, and
  2. The statewide average of total capital revenue per full-time equivalent student.

Thus, the state charter supplement can be displayed as follows:

  • State Charter Supplement = (Average Total Revenue of the 5 school districts with the lowest assessed valuation state funding of those districts federal funding of those districts + state equalization grants of those districts) + the statewide average of capital revenue per FTE

AVERAGE PER PUPIL (FTE) STATE FUNDING (FY15)

Average State Charter Funding (All Schools) = $5,548

  • Total Funds ($130,372,553) / Total FTE (23,497)

  • 12 B&M + 3 Virtuals = 15 Schools

Average State Charter Funding (Brick & Mortar Schools) = $7,821

  • Total Funds ($46,459,425) / Total FTE (5,940)

  • 12 schools                              

Average State Charter Funding (Virtual Schools) = $4,779

  • Total Funds ($83,913,128) / Total FTE (17,557)

  • 3 schools

The amounts listed above reflect a 2% SCSC withholding.

The amounts listed above reflect State funding only.  Federal funding is not reflected in these per FTE averages.