I knew when the charter school initiative was being debated that charter schools were not supposed to get as much money for transportation as real public schools. In fact, one of the main questions in the application was about transport.
So now it turns out that in the recently passed Budget bill there was a section to cut down the transportation funding. (This comes to us via the Washington Policy Center.)
Section 505(2)(b) of the House Budget Amendment to the Senate Budget bill, SB 6002,
would have required transportation funding for charter school students
to be calculated based on “total number of students in the district.”
The voter-approved charter school law, however, requires that,
“Allocations for pupil transportation must be calculated on a per
student basis based on the allocation for the previous school year to
the school district in which the charter school is located” (RCW
If you know our charter law, every charter school is its own district and that would not be much money. (And, you could rightly say, you want autonomy and not be under a district's thumb, this is what comes with that.)
But this apparently got correct in the finally budget:
“Per student allocations for pupil transportation must be calculated
using the allocation for the previous year to the school district in
which the charter school is located and the number of eligible students
in the district, and must be distributed to the charter school based
upon the number of eligible students.” See final version of SB 6002.
What this means to the entire SPS transportation budget, I don't know. I will mean more transportation costs to the state as they now may be transporting more kids over longer distances (given any child in the region can attend a charter school).