Academics love to debate whether charter schools take money away from school districts and a new research paper from Duke University and the University of Rochester is no different. It also happens to be wrong.
In North Carolina, like in most states, charters receive less public money for each student than district schools do. They don’t receive funding to pay the local supplements for school district employees. And they receive no funding for capital expenditures.
The truth is charter school enrollment actually increases spending per student in school districts. An August 2015 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction study noted “that the presence of charter schools increased the amount of expenditure devoted to instruction per student, despite the overall reduction in per pupil expenditure” (p. 4). And if charter schools want to pay their teachers the same as districts, they use their allocated funds to do so, unlike school systems who receive these funds from county commissioners. Further, charter schools save taxpayers millions of dollars by refurbishing old facilities or building their own without using bonds needed for growing communities.

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