Reality Check: Bridgeport Charters Receive Less Taxpayer Funding than Traditional Public Schools

Here’s shocking news the anti-charter crowd doesn’t want you to know: Bridgeport’s public schools receive on average nearly $2,000 more per student in taxpayer money than their charter school counterparts.

That’s right, contrary to popular belief — and the recent proclamations of a certain former member of the Bridgeport Board of Education — Bridgeport’s charter schools do not receive more taxpayer money than Bridgeport’s traditional public schools.

According to data provided by the State Department of Education’s Bureau of Grants Management, Bridgeport charter schools received on average of $12,531 per student from state and federal sources during the 2014 school year, excluding capital funding. This number came from ED001s forms for the 2013-14 school year, which reflect revenue received in that particular year.

When compared to the $14,506 per student public schools received from public sources in the same year, that’s $1,975 less per student.

Even if you exclude in-kind services, which account for about $500 in per-pupil spending, traditional public schools still get $1,550 more on average.

This information shatters the myth that charter schools are flush with taxpayer cash, while traditional schools are left underfunded — which is a good thing for everyone.

Readers of the blog may remember that a few weeks ago, former board member Maria Pereira made the not-so-truthful claim that charter schools received more state funding.

Her intention wasn’t just to bash charters. It was pretty clear, by stirring-up anti-charter sentiment, she also sought to pit traditional public schools parents against charter parents.

This is bad for a multitude of reasons, but most importantly, it divides a community that really should be working together.



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