Good coverage of the charter school funding issue in today’s Monitor, though it did not point out that charter funding is tied to voucher repeal:
Gov. Maggie Hassan last week proposed boosting state funding for public charter schools, a move that would break – for now – the fiscal logjam that led officials last year to place a moratorium on new schools.
Hassan’s budget, as delivered to the Legislature, contains an additional $18 million over the next biennium to help new charter schools open and allow the 17 existing schools (an 18th will open this fall) enroll more students, according to her office.
That’s good news for charter school advocates, who have been up in arms since Sept. 19, when the State Board of Education said it wouldn’t approve any more charter schools because there wasn’t enough money in the budget to finance them. Public charter schools are free for students to attend and receive grants from the state – $5,450 per pupil in grades 1-12 for the current school year – to help cover their operating expenses.
“The governor has been a public charter school supporter in the past and we applaud her for her vision and commitment to public charter school options,” wrote Matt Southerton, director of the New Hampshire Center for Innovative Schools, in an email. The center is a nonprofit that helps set up charter schools.
If the extra money is approved by legislators, the State Board of Education would be in a position to green-light four new schools with applications that are complete or nearly so, assuming those applications also meet the “plethora of other criteria that we look for,” said Chairman Tom Raffio, also the president and chief executive officer of Northeast Delta Dental.