A rapidly growing number of virtual charter schools is forcing states to re-evaluate their school finance formulas, with several opting to pay less per student to fund these cyber charters.
An ECS analysis of this new type of public education, which delivers 100 percent of courses online, outlines key funding differences between virtual schools and traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
Virtual charter schools have unique characteristics that make it difficult, if not impossible, to fund them through traditional school finance formulas,"said
As of 2014, 34 states and the
Griffith, who authored the report What State Policymakers Need to Know about Funding Virtual Charter Schools (resource://pdf.js/web/), said virtual schools typically have unlimited school sizes and unlimited enrollment areas.
These characteristics make it possible, for example, for the
States have taken a number of approaches to funding cyber charters. This includes:
* In fiscal year 2013-14,
* The state of
* In Ohio's school funding formula, cyber charters receive a base-funding amount that is equal to traditional schools. However, e-schools are not entitled to receive funding for several programs, including at-risk students, English language learners, and career and technical learning.
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