On March 15, shortly after approving legislation to create Kentucky charter schools, the General Assembly approved House Bill 471, an appropriation bill that was amended to include rules for charter funding. Based on that bill, here’s a rough idea of what Kentucky charter schools may receive from SEEK funding:
- $3,862 per pupil (counting average daily attendance rather than enrollment)
- $579 more for each student eligible for federal free lunches
- $927 more for each student with a communication disability
- $4,518 more for each student with a moderate disability
- $9,075 more for each student with a severe disability
- An average of $346 per pupil for transportation, with the amount varying by district
However, charter schools may not be allocated those exact amounts. House Bill 471 goes on to say that the "public charter school's portion shall be allocated in the same manner as the school allocation model used by the local school district based on applicable data provided by the public charter school.” That school allocation model seems to be a formula each district will create and transmit to Frankfort, where the Kentucky Board of Education will have authority to find models deficient and request revisions.
For transportation, the amount a charter school can receive will depend on whether the school district chooses to transport the charter school students. If the district transports, the district keeps the transportation dollars. If not, that part of the funding goes to the charter school.
SEEK also has two optional parts that allow districts to raise additional revenue:
- For Tier 1, districts can set tax rates to raise more than the minimum 30¢ per $100 of taxable property, and the state contributes to equalize resulting revenue. This year, Tier 1 revenue averaged $1,101 per pupil statewide, drawn from both local and state funds.
- For Tier 2, districts can set even higher rates, but receive no state equalization. This year, Tier 2 revenue averaged $1,282 per pupil statewide, drawn solely from local funds.
Beyond SEEK, charter schools will be eligible for categorical funding, meaning the kinds of state and federal dollars that come with strings attached. Watch for a future post that estimates those amounts.
For number lovers, here are my calculations for SEEK base, add-ons and the retained 3%:
The Tier 1 and Tier 2 estimates flow from the statewide version of these recent reports from the Council for Better Education.