NEPC Review: Charter School Funding: Support for Students with Disabilities (University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, July 2021)
A report from the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform asserts that charter schools, despite serving only marginally fewer children with disabilities than traditional public schools, are significantly shortchanged of funding for those children, in addition to being significantly shortchanged on funding in general. This assertion is erroneous because the report ignores substantial differences in the classifications, needs, and costs of children with disabilities in district-operated versus charter schools. To reach its incorrect conclusions, the report exclusively self-cites deeply flawed, self-published evidence of a general charter school funding gap, ignoring more rigorous studies yielding contradictory findings. The report adds no value to legitimate debate over the comparability or adequacy of general or special education funding of charter schools.