For charter school leaders, the news isn’t heartwarming: States are now collectively projecting spending cuts over the next few years in the neighborhood of $500 billion.
As Daerel Bernette II from EdWeek put it, “Almost half of the nation’s 13,000 school districts may be forced to make the deepest cuts to education spending in a generation—slashing programs and laying off hundreds of thousands of administrators, teachers and other staff—to fend off financial collapse brought on by the coronavirus.”
Reduced tax revenues across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic will potentially result in deferrals, delays, and reductions in state payments for charter schools. And states more reliant on tax revenues not connected to property taxes may face even starker choices as taxes from other sources—sales tax as people spend less, tourism taxes as people travel less—dry up.
As charter leaders navigate the next few months, one recent guide post came from Nathan Barrett, the Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In his brief entitled COVID And Education Finance: Acting During the Impending Fiscal Downturn, he noted…
“The uncertainty and impending fiscal challenges will require careful planning and execution. They will also require the ability to make thoughtful but quick course corrections should fiscal realities fail to meet projections. While all schools will be affected, charter schools are of interest because of their unique position in public education, the policies under which they operate, and the fact that they disproportionally serve students who are potentially at greater risk of disruptions because of the pandemic.”
As we’ve done throughout this crisis, Charter School Capital wants to ensure charter school leaders have the best advice possible. And tomorrow, we will continue that work by welcoming Mr. Barrett from National Alliance for an hour-long webinar to help leaders prepare a charter school safety net.
Joining him will be Ricardo Mireles, Executive Director of the Los Angeles-based charter school Academia Avance, who navigated his charter school through the Great Recession. Our VP of Business Services, Tricia Blum, will host Mr. Mireles and Mr. Barrett.