Funded: Charters

A Detailed Look at Each State's Charter School Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Alabama
Funding Basics
Authorizer

Charter funding policies and reporting practices within each state may vary depending on the entity that authorized the charter school. Charter schools in Alabama may be authorized by local school districts and the Alabama Charter School Commission.

References:
“Charter Schools: What organizations may authorize charter schools, and is there a statewide authorizing body?” Education Commission of the States, 50-State Comparison, January 2018.
Funding Formula

Funding for charter schools in Alabama is calculated based on a formula similar to the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded using a resource-based funding formula that determines the cost of delivering education in a district based on the cost of the resources required to do so. For each student, charter schools receive the same amount of both state and local funding that would have been provided to the student’s district of residence. Charter school funding will reflect any additional funding generated by students in certain grade levels, English-language learners, students from low-income households, and students with disabilities who attend charter schools. In addition, school districts may share funding for gifted and talented programs and for career and technical education programs in accordance with rules adopted by the state Department of Education.

In addition, charter schools will receive a proportionate share of program-specific allocations based on the share of charter students eligible for the program.

References:
Ala. Code Ann. § 16-6F-10 (Lexis 2019).
Funding Distribution
Funding Distribution

Charter schools in Alabama receive funding directly from the state, as well as from the local school districts.

Charter schools receive state funding directly from the state and local tax revenue from their students’ school district(s) of residence. For more information on the types of local tax revenue that charter schools are eligible to receive, see “Local funding.”

References:
Ala. Code Ann. § 16-6F-10 (Lexis 2019)
Withholdings

Charter schools in Alabama will have a share of their funding withheld, with the maximum set by state law.

Local school boards that authorize charter schools may withhold a share of charter school funding to cover the costs of overseeing and authorizing charter school. The percentage they may withhold varies between 1% and 3% percent depending on the number of charter schools that the local school board oversees.

State law does not specify if the Alabama Charter School Commission, a state authorizing body, may also withhold a share of charter school funding.

References:
Ala. Code Ann. § 16-6F-10 (Lexis 2019)
Ala. Code Ann. § 16-6F-6 (Lexis 2019)
Local Taxes

All charter schools in Alabama receive a share of local tax revenue.

For each charter student, charter schools receive the share of local tax revenue that would have been allocated for that student by the student’s district of residence, not to exceed the per student value of $10.00 per $1,000 of taxable value in the district. The determination of the share of local funding due to a charter school will not include local revenue earmarked for a particular purpose, like for debt service.

References:
Ala. Code Ann. § 16-6F-10 (Lexis 2019)
Data and Reporting
Legal Status

Some charter schools in Alabama constitute their own local education agencies, while others are a part of local education agencies.

Charter schools that had not previously been a traditional public school constitute their own local education agencies. Charter schools that had been converted from being a traditional public school to being a charter school remain a part of the local education agencies of the school district to which they belong.

References:
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, October 1, 2018
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, September 28, 2018
Student Count

Some charter school students in Alabama are counted as students of the charter they attend for state reporting purposes, while other charter school students are counted as students of the school district in which the charter school is located.

Students attending charter schools that had not previously been a traditional public school are counted as students of the charter school. Students attending charter schools that had been converted from a traditional public school to a charter school are counted as students of the school district.

References:
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, October 1, 2018
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, October 10, 2018
Funding

State funding for some charter schools in Alabama is reported separately while for other charter schools, state funding is reported as part of state funding for the school district where the charter school is located.

State funding for charter schools that had not previously been a traditional public school are reported separately from state funding for any district. Funding for charter schools that had been converted from a traditional public school to a charter school is included in funding for the school district to which the charter school belongs.

References:
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, October 1, 2018
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, October 10, 2018.
Expenditures

For some charter schools in Alabama, expenditures are reported separately while for other charter schools, expenditures are reported as part of expenditures of the school district where the charter school is located.

Expenditures for charter schools that had not previously been a traditional public school are not reported as part of expenditures of any school district. Expenditures of charter schools that had been converted from being a traditional public school to being a charter school are included in the expenditures of the school district to which the charter school belongs.

References:
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, October 1, 2018
pers. comm. Ethan Taylor, Alabama State Department of Education, email, October 10, 2018.