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 HB 797 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 allocation for each student in a state charter school is determined by adding these four components:
QBE formula earnings based on the school’s enrollment, school profile and student characteristics,
a proportional share of the earned state categorical grants (transportation and school nutrition),
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
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
State Charters receive the same austerity deduction that all public schools receive.
The austerity in the FY 2014 budget equaled 14.1% 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 14.1% to get a respective austerity value.
Local Five Mill Share (LFMS):
In both FY 2013 and FY 2014, the legislature passed a budget 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.
- State Charters are deducted up to 3% of their overall budgets to cover operating expenses of the State Charter School Commission (SCSC). For FY14, the SCSC voted to reduce this amount from 3% to 2%.
EXPLANATION OF CHARTER SUPPLEMENT
Because state charter schools do not receive a share of local revenue, the funding formula for state charter schools includes the addition of state funds to offset the reduced opportunity for revenue. The charter supplement has two components:
- 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
- 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
Average State Charter Funding (All Schools) = $5,044.29
Total Funds ($99,559,224) / Total FTE (19,737)
12 B&M + 3 Virtuals* = 15 Schools
Average State Charter Funding (Brick & Mortar Schools) = $7,103.86
Total Funds ($35,952,628) / Total FTE (5,061)
Average State Charter Funding (Virtual Schools) = $4,334.05
Total Funds ($63,606,596) / Total FTE (14,676)
*Note: One (1) State Charter—Odyssey School—currently operates as a brick and mortar school offering a virtual program component. For purposes of estimating funding, Odyssey is classified here as a virtual school since the school’s virtual students account for 97% of overall enrollment.
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.