State Charter 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 General Assembly may appropriate additional state dollars as provided in the state charter funding formula are to partially offset the loss of local dollars when a charter application is denied by a local school board.  This is commonly referred to as the "State Charter Supplement."


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 state-wide average amount of the total revenues less federal revenues less state revenues other than equalization grants per full-time equivalent for all school systems; provided, however, that, if the average amount of the total revenues less federal revenues less state revenues other than equalization grants per full-time equivalent for the local school systems that comprise the attendance zone of the state charter school is less than the state-wide average amount of the total revenues less federal revenues less state revenues other than equalization grants per full-time equivalent for all school systems, the state charter school shall receive the greater of:
     

(i) The average amount of the total revenues less federal revenues less state revenues other than equalization grants per full-time equivalent for the local school systems that comprise the attendance zone of the state charter school; or

(ii) The average amount of the total revenues less federal revenues less state revenues other than equalization grants per full-time equivalent for the lowest five school systems ranked by assessed valuation per weighted full-time equivalent count, as determined by the department.

  1. For brick-and-mortar state charter schools, the The state-wide average total capital revenue (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), excluding local revenue bonds, per full-time equivalent, as determined by the department or the capital revenue per full-time equivalent for the local school system where the brick-and-mortar state charter school is located, whichever is greater; and for state charter schools that offer virtual instruction, an amount equal to 25 percent of the state-wide average total capital revenue per full-time equivalent if such school provides computer hardware, software, associated technical equipment, and ongoing maintenance required and necessary for its students to participate in such virtual instruction. 

EXPLANATION OF DEDUCTIONS

Austerity:
 
  • State Charters receive the same austerity deduction that all public schools receive.
  • The austerity in the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) budget equaled approximately 0% 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 0% to get a respective austerity value.

Local Five Mill Share (LFMS):

  • Since Fiscal Year 2013, the legislature has proposed budgets that deduct the equivalent of a LFMS deduction from State Charter Schools’ funding.
  • The LFMS deduction is taken only from QBE earnings.  The deduction amount is tied to the average LFMS per FTE of the districts used to determine the base supplemental funding figure.

Commission Withhold:

  • The State Charter Schools Commission (SCSC) is authorized to deduct up to 3% of the overall budgets of state charter schools to cover SCSC operating expenses.  
  • For Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019), 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 statewide average amount of local revenue and state equalization grant funding or if the    district(s) that comprise the attendance zone of the charter are funded less than the state average then funding will be the greater of the following:
    1. ​​​​​The average amount of local revenue + equalization grant per full-time equivalent student(FTE) for the local school system(s)that comprise the attendance zone of the state charter school.
    2. The average amount of local revenue + equalization per FTE for the lowest five school systems in Georgia ranked by assessed valuation per weighted FTE count.
  2. The statewide average of total capital revenue per FTE or the capital revenue per FTE for the local school system where the brick-and-mortar state charter school is located, whichever is greater.
    1. For state charter schools that offer virtual instruction, an amount equal to 25 percent of the state-wide average total capital revenue per FTE if such school provides technology and equipment to its students.

In the event that a state charter school offers virtual instruction, the appropriation for the State Charter Supplement is reduced by one-third.


AVERAGE PER PUPIL (FTE) STATE FUNDING (FY2019)

Average State Charter Funding (All Schools) = $7,905

  • Total Funds ($265,505,745) / Total FTE (33,585)

  • 27 B&M + 2 Virtuals = 29 Schools

Average State Charter Funding (Brick & Mortar Schools) = $9,257

  • Total Funds ($150,647,581) / Total FTE (16,274)

  • 27 schools                              

Average State Charter Funding (Virtual Schools) = $6,635

  • Total Funds ($114,858,164) / Total FTE (17,311)

  • 2 schools

The amounts listed above reflect an SCSC withholding amount equal to 2% for existing schools and 1% for schools in their first year of operation.

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