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.
Rhode Island
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 Rhode Island may be authorized by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.

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 Rhode Island is calculated based on local school district expenditures.

Charter schools in Rhode Island will receive funding based on the per student cost in the district(s) of residence of the charter students. The state must provide at least 30%, while local school districts must provide the remainder.

Additional funding may be allocated to charter schools from the sending district if the charter school serves a higher share of free or reduced price lunch eligible students, English-language learners, and students with disabilities than the district as a whole. The state commissioner will set out rules for how this may happen.

References:
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.1-2 (Lexis 2019)
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.2-5 (Lexis 2019)
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.3-5 (Lexis 2019)
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.4-5 (Lexis 2019)
Funding Distribution
Funding Distribution

Some charter schools in Rhode Island receive funding directly from the state, as well as from local school districts, while others receive funding through local school districts.

Charter schools operated by nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, or mayors of city or towns receive state funding from the state and local tax revenue from their students’ district(s) of residence. Charter schools operated by local school districts receive funding through that district.

References:
pers. comm. Megan Geoghegan, Rhode Island Department of Education, email, October 4, 2018. 
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.1-2 (Lexis 2019)
Withholdings

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

The state will deduct 5% from the per pupil cost used to calculate funding for charter schools. This amount is used to support the sending district for any indirect costs associated with having resident students attending charter schools.

References:
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.1-2 (Lexis 2019).
Local Taxes

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

The state department of education calculates a per pupil local share for each district. The local share is the difference between the per pupil cost in the charter students’ district(s) of residence and the state share.

References:
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.1-2 (Lexis 2019)
Data and Reporting
Legal Status

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

Charter schools operated by nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, or mayors of any city or town constitute local education agencies. However, charter schools operated by local school districts are part of local education agencies.

Student Count

State contacts did not confirm how charter school students in Rhode Island are reported.

Funding

State contacts did not confirm how state funding for charter schools in Rhode Island is reported.

Expenditures

State contacts did not confirm how charter expenditures are reported in Rhode Island.