This week, the House Appropriations subcommittee on education will hold an interim study on charter schools. One of the topics is charter school funding, and speakers will address how charter schools are entirely dependent on state aid funding, as they do not receive ad valorem funding. In essence, charter schools are the poorest of ad valorem schools and given the possibility of funding cuts, charter schools are extremely concerned about their ability to operate given their already lower levels of funding.
As a part of this effort, I applaud the U.S. Conference of Mayors that recently unanimously passed a resolution supporting policies to improve public charter schools through school facility acquisition, funding and access. This resolution was led by Mayor Frank Ortis, Pembroke Pines, FL; Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, West Sacramento, CA; and, Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento, CA.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was even moved to speak out in support of this resolution and offered his local perspective. “Giving Oklahoma City students first-rate education options, including public charter schools, is critical to the success and growth of our city,” said Mayor Cornett. “We must work together to ensure we are providing quality schools that both meet our students’ diverse needs and that prepare them for lives as engaged, productive citizens. Despite their noteworthy success in places like Oklahoma City, charter school funding falls dramatically below traditional public schools. Therefore, I recently joined many of my fellow mayors in signing onto a national resolution by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to help improve public charter school funding and access to facilities for these schools. We want to start a national conversation that I personally hope begins right here in Oklahoma about the best way to educate our children in our ever-evolving world.”For more information about this resolution on public charter schools please visit their website or social media pages at usmayors.org. We also encourage you to visit and follow the Oklahoma Public Charter School Association for more information and resources related to public charter schools at okcharters.org.