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.
South Carolina
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 South Carolina may be authorized by local school districts, the State Board of Education, or another entity, such as institutions of higher 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 some charter schools in South Carolina is calculated based on a formula similar to the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools and funding for other charter schools is calculated based on a formula distinct from the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools authorized by local school districts receive funding based on the characteristics of the students they serve, with multipliers applied to their student count for English-language learners, students from low-income households, students with disabilities, gifted students, and students in career and technical education programs. For each weighted student count, these locally authorized charter schools receive the total revenue per weighted student count in their authorizing school district. Meanwhile, charter schools that are authorized by the state or by an institution of higher learning are funded as directed by the state legislature.

References:
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-140 (Lexis 2019)
South Carolina Department of Education. 2017-2018 Funding Manual, (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Education, 2017),
Funding Distribution
Funding Distribution

Some charter schools in South Carolina receive all funding directly from the state, while others receive all funding through local school districts.

Charter schools authorized by an entity other than local school districts receive funding directly from the state. Charter schools authorized by local school districts receive funding through their authorizing school districts.

References:
pers. comm. Kayla Audette, South Carolina Department of Education, email, October 29, 2018.
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-140 (Lexis 2019)
Withholdings

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

The statewide sponsoring agency, the South Carolina Public Charter School District, and a higher education charter sponsor may retain up to 2% of charter funding to cover the costs of overseeing charter schools. State law in South Carolina does not specify that a share of charter funding is withheld from charter schools authorized by local school districts.

References:
pers. comm. Kayla Audette, South Carolina Department of Education, email, October 29, 2018.
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-55 (Lexis 2019)
Local Taxes

Some charter schools in South Carolina receive a share of local tax revenue, while other charter schools do not.

Charter schools authorized by a local school district receive a share of revenue raised by their local school district or by the county in which they are located. Funding for locally authorized charter schools is based on total revenue, including both state and local revenue, in the authorizing district. Charter schools authorized by some other entity do not a receive a share of local revenue.

References:
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-140 (Lexis 2019)
South Carolina Department of Education. 2017-2018 Funding Manual, (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Education, 2017),
Data and Reporting
Legal Status

Charter schools in South Carolina are part of local education agencies.

Charter schools authorized by a local school district are a part of the district’s local education agency. For charter schools authorized by a statewide sponsoring agency, the agency serves as the local education agency.

References:
pers. comm. Kayla Audette, South Carolina Department of Education, email, October 29, 2018.
Student Count

Charter school students in South Carolina are counted as students of the school district in which the charter school is located for state reporting purposes.

References:
pers. comm. Kayla Audette, South Carolina Department of Education, email, October 29, 2018
Funding

State funding for charter schools in South Carolina is reported as part of state funding for the school district where the charter school is located.

References:
pers. comm. Kayla Audette, South Carolina Department of Education, email, October 29, 2018. 
Expenditures

Charter school expenditures in South Carolina are reported as part of expenditures of the school district where the charter school is located.

References:
pers. comm. Kayla Audette, South Carolina Department of Education, email, October 29, 2018.