New Report: Camden Public Charter Schools Get $16k Less per Pupil Than Traditional Camden Schools

There’s a new report out from the University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform that examines funding inequities in 18 cities between traditional public schools (TPS) and public charter schools. To the surprise of no one who is aware of New Jersey’s inequitable charter funding formula, Camden City’s charter school sector plays a starring role.

As New Jersey Public Charter School Association’s Harry Lee and JerseyCAN’s Patricia Morgain wrote earlier this year, “public charter and renaissance schools are in need of $900 million in construction, renovation, or capital improvement funds over the next decade.”

The new report by Corey DeAngelis, Patrick J. Wolf, Larry D. Maloney, and Jay F. May confirms this inequity. Here’s the data on Camden (the only NJ city in the report):

  • Twelve of the 18 cities in the main analysis — nearly two-thirds of the cities examined — received an F because per-pupil funding disparities exceeded 25 percent. Notably, charter students in Camden, New Jersey, obtained $16,317 less in per-pupil funding in 2017-18, representing a funding gap of 46 percent.

Here are the bullet points for the 18 cities combined:

  • Public charter schools received an average of $7,796 less per-pupil than TPS — the largest funding disparity everdiscovered by our research team – which represents a funding gap of 33 percent.
  • Across the eight cities with longitudinal data back to 2003, the overall funding gap favoring TPS more than doubled in real terms since 2003 and grew by 28 percent since 2016.
  • Across the 14 cities with data back to 2013, the overall funding gap favoring TPS grew 26 percent since 2013 and widened by 28 percent since 2016.
  • A dearth of education funding from local sources was most responsible for the charter school funding gap,
What do you think?