States

Missouri Eyes Earmarking Money For Charter School Oversight

By Lisa Fine — May 02, 2001 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Missouri is poised to become the first state to earmark money specifically for charter school sponsors to oversee such schools, national charter school experts say.

Details of the legislation, which would provide a total of about $750,000 to the school districts and higher education institutions authorized to sponsor charter schools in the state, were being hashed out in a state House-Senate conference committee late last week.

The measure’s sponsor, Sen. Bill Kenney, a Republican, said it would create a fairer financing system for charter schools and the entities that oversee them.

“We wanted to improve education in Missouri, specifically in the Kansas City school district,” Sen. Kenney said. “If we want to do that, we ought to provide funds.”

The idea won the praise of national charter school advocates, including Jon Schroeder, the director of the Charter Friends National Network in St. Paul, Minn.

“Sponsors need the money to do their job,” said Mr. Schroeder. “The specific appropriation proposed in a state with diverse charter sponsors is a very significant development, and I’m sure other states will watch closely.”

‘Upfront Investment’

Under current Missouri law, sponsors must use their own money to cover the cost of overseeing charter schools. Sponsors of the state’s nearly two dozen charter schools include five state colleges and universities, as well as the Kansas City and St. Louis school systems—the only districts in which state law allows charter schools. Kansas City enrolls some 5,800 of the state’s 7,000 charter school students, according to the Learning Exchange Charter School Partnership, a nonprofit charter school resource center and policy institute in Kansas City.

The bill comes at a turbulent time for the Kansas City schools, which face a possible state takeover.

The bill would provide sponsors about $23,400 for each school they oversee, plus about $35 more for every student the school enrolls, Mr. Kenney said. Missouri charter school sponsors and advocacy groups have been lobbying lawmakers not to take sponsorship funding out of the per-pupil operating revenues for charter schools.

National charter school experts said financing beyond charter schools’ operating budgets is needed to provide proper oversight of the administratively independent but publicly financed schools.

“It symbolizes the understanding that it will take an upfront investment to help sponsors learn how to be good advisers,” said Paul T. Hill, the director of the Seattle-based Center for Reinventing Public Education. “It’s obviously a heck of a good idea. I have not heard of an express appropriation for that purpose before.”

A version of this article appeared in the May 02, 2001 edition of Education Week as Missouri Eyes Earmarking Money For Charter School Oversight

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States Educators Weigh K-12 Impact From an Unpredictable Election
Many of the most contentious issues in the 2022 midterms resonate most at the local level.
6 min read
"I Voted" stickers sit in a pile at the Fairview Recreation Center in North Minneapolis.
"I Voted" stickers sit in a pile at the Fairview Recreation Center in North Minneapolis during the midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Tim Evans/Minnesota Public Radio via AP
States K-12 and the Midterms: What to Watch For
Educators sound off on what the hard-fought midterm elections could mean for K-12 policy.
6 min read
Aidan Lau-Struck, 6, helps his mom Stephanie Lau feed her ballot into the machine at the Brighton Green Community Association voting precinct in North Chesterfield, Va., on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Aidan Lau-Struck, 6, helps his mother, Stephanie Lau, feed her ballot into the machine at the Brighton Green Community Association voting precinct in North Chesterfield, Va., on Election Day.
Eva Russo/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
States K-12 Insider or Conservative Advocate? Stark Choice in One State Superintendent's Race
A think tank CEO and a high school English teacher battle it out for South Carolina's top K-12 job.
8 min read
Ellen Weaver, the Republican nominee for South Carolina superintendent of education, speaks at U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's Faith & Freedom BBQ ahead of the keynote speaker, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, in Anderson, S.C.
Ellen Weaver, the Republican nominee for South Carolina superintendent of education, speaks at U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's Faith & Freedom BBQ in Anderson, S.C.
Meg Kinnard/AP
States School-Related Ballot Measures to Watch This Midterm Election
Voters in six states will decide on issues ranging from more funding for free school meals and the arts to reining in the state board.
7 min read
Image of ballots going into a box.
iStock/Getty