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School Choice & Charters

Charters Push for Help Finding, Financing Buildings

By Katie Ash — July 25, 2013 1 min read

In addition to obtaining a charter, recruiting students and teachers, and the myriad of tasks that must take place before a charter school can open, one of the biggest challenges charters face is finding—and figuring out how to pay for— facilities. That topic is the focus of my latest story about charter schools, which appears on edweek.org today.

Unlike regular public schools, which generally raise capital funds through taxpayer-backed bond measures, charter schools do not have such a mechanism in place to raise money for purchasing or renovating buildings. How much funding, if any, charters receive from state and local sources varies widely from state to state. As a result, charters spend about 10 percent of their operating budgets on facilities and facility related costs, and many charters report inadequate space as a barrier to expansion.

In addition to the main story, I also dug into shifts in state policies around funding for charter school buildings. And to accompany the set of stories, we are hosting a webinar on August 1, from 2-3 p.m. Eastern, with two experts in this field: Jim Griffin, the former president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, and Ricardo Soto, the senior vice president of legal advocacy and general counsel for special education and facilities at the California Charter Schools Association. Click the link to register for this free event.

And take a moment to play around with the image at the top of this post to find links to all the charter school facilities-related coverage I’ve mentioned and learn a little bit more about the issue.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.