Funding administrative functions, particularly the completion of various financial reports, within a charter school remains one of the largest obstacles for a newly formed charter school to overcome. Because each charter school is a local education agency (LEA), each school must generate many of the same reports as a school district. Funding provided through this program is targeted to assist charters in meeting these administrative needs.
During the 2015 General Session, the Legislature appropriated for Fiscal Year 2016, $6,741,000 from all sources for Charter School Administration. This is a 1.2 percent increase from Fiscal Year 2015 revised estimated amounts from all sources. The total includes $6,741,000 from the General/Education Funds, an increase of 1.2 percent from revised Fiscal Year 2015 estimates.
In addition to statewide compensation and internal service fund cost increases, the following appropriation adjustments were made during the 2015 General Session:
The following statute governs the Charter School Administrative cost program:
- UCA 53A-17a-108 -- provides charter schools with $100 per enrolled student to assist with administrative costs.
The Administrative Cost program within the Basic Program provided some assistance to charters prior to FY 2008. However, since the inception of charter schools, properly assimilating them into the established framework and formulas of the traditional public education system has been complex. The Administrative Cost program is one area where, although integrated with the traditional system, the system does not address the unique characteristics of operating a charter school.
Charter schools were treated as one school district under the Administrative Cost program. The formula assumes that as student population increases, a school district is better able to meet administrative functions without direct state support. However, each charter school manages administrative and finance procedures locally on an individual basis. As the entire charter school population increases, the total administrative costs among the schools also increase. This is primarily because more independent schools begin operation. As independent schools, it is more difficult for charter schools to build on economies of scale, compared to a school district.
In FY 2008, the Legislature appropriated revenue to support an administrative cost program targeted for charter schools. The creation of this program removed the eligibility of charter schools to participate in the Administrative Cost program within the Basic Program.
Formula -- Appropriated revenue is distributed to charter schools on an equal, per student basis. Each charter school receives $100 per enrolled student.
The Legislature intends that the State Board of Education review the Pupil Transportation Allocation Formula and recommend ways to improve the formula to increase efficiency, simplify allocation methodology to school districts, and provide incentives for alternative transportation methods. The Legislature further intends that the State Board of Education report its recommendations to the Education Interim Committee and the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee by October 31, 2015.
HB0002: Item 2
The Legislature intends that the State Board of Education and State Board of Regents provide joint recommendations on how to ensure that each concurrent enrollment course is taught by a qualified instructor, that credits earned by students count towards major and minor degree requirements at state colleges and universities, and that students are advised on the transferability of credits to private and out of state institutions. The Legislature also intends that these recommendations be reported to the Education Interim Committee and the Public Education Appropriations Committee by October 31, 2015.
COBI contains unaudited data as presented to the Legislature by state agencies at the time of publication. For audited financial data see the State of Utah's Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.