AbstractAs charter enrollments continue to grow in the United States, the research base on charters also grows. Little of this research, however, focuses on the effects of charter school proliferation on the finances of public school districts. Using a nationwide, universally-reported, longitudinal dataset, I leverage variations in charter proliferation to estimate its effects on a variety of school district fiscal measures, controlling for differences in district characteristics. I find that, in many states, charter growth correlates with increased spending per pupil. While this increased spending may be mechanical in some states, comparisons of estimates based on federal- and state-level data in Minnesota and New Jersey shows this increased spending is likely due to fixed costs districts have in support and administrative spending. Policymakers should weigh this extra cost when considering policies that increase charter school enrollments.
SubjectsCharter schools, School finance, New Jersey, Minnesota
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