We wanted to follow up on the recently release Clifton Larson Allen/Charter School Partners report Minnesota K-12 Funding Analysis: A comparison of public district and charter school revenues by providing this slightly updated version of the report as well as the following tools:
*An FAQ on the CLA District/Charter Disparity Report that can be used as a tool in sharing the information and message.
*Two additional worksheets that will allow individual schools to identify the funding gap between their charter and local districts of their choice with information available through MDE. The first is a Charter and District Funding Difference Worksheet Template and the second is Step by step walk-through on how to determine this difference.
In short, the report stated Minnesota’s charter schools receive substantially less funding than their district counterparts, with particularly huge gaps in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. The study stated that the largest gap is in Minneapolis where there is a jaw dropping $4,919 or a 31.7 percent difference per pupil (ADM) between Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and charters in the city. In St. Paul, the difference between St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and its charter counterparts is $3,548, or 24.7 percent difference. The rest of the state’s schools (outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul) have a $954 difference, or an 8.2% difference.
The large disparity in Minneapolis and St. Paul is primarily due to the local levy/referendum in both cities. According to the report “local property taxes are the most significant driver of the differences in revenue composition. Minnesota district schools received an average of 20 percent of funding from local property tax revenues, which charter schools are unable to access.”