Charter schools’ public funding is still flowing, but some say they still need federal aid
By Perry Stein
Charter schools now face similar blowback. That’s because their main revenue source — per-pupil government funding — is so far unaffected by the pandemic. Meanwhile, other companies and organizations across the district have lost nearly all of their revenue, said D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large), who chairs the Education Committee and has questioned whether charter schools should apply.
“I think it’s really an abuse of funds,” said Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, a nonprofit advocacy organization. “They are not losing their funding stream.”
Schools will need to disclose to the charter board whether they received federal aid as part of the annual fiscal audit of each school, which is publicly released around December.
Charter schools are privately operated nonprofits, but they are publicly funded, receiving the same money per student as the traditional public school system. They receive additional funds to pay for facilities. But they have long argued that they face a financial disadvantage because they cannot lean on services provided by local government agencies, including maintenance and legal services, as the traditional public school system can.