To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Charter School Funding
Date: Wed Feb 11 04:03:53 MST 2015
I am writing as a concerned citizen who is involved and interested in education and its impact on the economy and future of our state. I currently serve as the president of a Charter School for underprivileged children. I have no personal stake in the school, my children having gone through regular public schools. I volunteer many, many hours for the simple reason that I care about good education for all students.
Charter schools create a more competitive environment which should push the traditional public schools to “up their game.” I firmly believe that had there been more competition for the public schools when my children were attending, they would have had a much higher percentage of outstanding teachers and much less administrative nonsense. I would have to say that having had two daughters attend district schools from Kindergarten through High School from 1996-2015, I am less than satisfied with the overall quality of the education that they have received.
As it stands today, the school districts seem to think that they need to compete by lobbying legislators to shift money in their direction, rather than compete by improving the quality of education.
Our charter school is producing better results than the traditional schools do with children of the same demographics. And we are doing it on an un-level playing field, where although we receive more state funds per pupil, because we don’t have local taxing authority, we receive less overall funding than the traditional schools. I would urge you to do all in your power to ensure that the ratio of funding per student gets no worse for charter schools and if possibly moves more towards parity, maintaining funding by actual headcount, increasing the portion that school districts pay to the Local Replacement Fund, and assisting with transportation funding for Charter Schools. I would also urge that more emphasis be placed on Charter Schools that service inner-city and low-income students, many of whose parents care deeply about their children’s education but do not have the ability that I did of supplementing their children’s education to compensate for the shortfalls of the traditional districts.
Thanks for your consideration,