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A Think Twice Review of:

Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands Department of Education Reform (DER) at the University of Arkansas

Think Twice - May 20, 2014

Publisher/Think Tank - Department of Education Reform (DER) at the University of Arkansas

Author(s) - Meagan Batdorff, Larry Maloney, Jay F. May, Sheree T. Speakman, Patrick J. Wolf, Albert Cheng

The authors of the report claim large and growing inequities between district funding provided through state, local, federal and other sources and charter school revenues from those same sources, even after accounting for differences in student needs.

Reviewer(s) - Bruce Baker, Rutgers University

In his review, Bruce Baker finds that the report has one overarching flaw that invalidates all of its findings and conclusions, "the report displays complete lack of understanding of intergovernmental fiscal relationships, which results in the blatantly erroneous assignment of ‘revenues' between charters and district schools." Baker further states that the report ignores district funding that passes through district schools to charter schools in most states. The serious flaws in the report invalidate its conclusions and any subsequent return-on-investment comparisons claiming they're a better deal because they receive less funding and yet perform as well if not better than traditional public schools.