AS THIS NOVEMBER’S ballot initiative on raising the cap on the number of charter public schools in Massachusetts draws closer, opponents find ever-more financial woes to blame on the schools. But a September Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation study is just the latest to conclude that those accusations don’t pass muster.
Now the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is out with a report that it politely says “clarifies misconceptions” about charter school funding. Of the nearly $12.7 billion spent on public education in Massachusetts, the report notes, 3.9 percent is directed to charter schools mirroring the 3.9 percent of public school students who are enrolled in charters.
But a detailed new report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation shows that the anti-charter argument just doesn’t pass muster. Summarizing its deep dive into public school funding, the foundation, widely regarded as an even-handed fiscal analyst, writes: “Examination of school funding trends in districts affected by charter school enrollments does not suggest that charter schools are over-funded, that students in district schools are suffering a loss of support, or that the per-student funding of districts is trending negatively. Rather, per-student funding has increased quite steadily across the state, and the district-charter balance has been stable.”