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.
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 Washington may be authorized by the Washington State Charter School Commission, and local school districts, with the approval of the State Board of 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 Washington 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 through 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. Charter schools will be funded using the same student to resource ratios as traditional public schools, including those that provide increased resources for students in certain grade levels, English-language learners, and others. Charter schools are also eligible for program-specific allocations, including those that provide additional funding for English-language learners, students from low-income households, students with disabilities, and gifted and talented students.

References:
State Board of Education, “Charter Schools,” FAQs, accessed January 16, 2019,
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.220 (Lexis 2019)
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.260 (Lexis 2019)
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.280 (Lexis 2019)
Funding Distribution
Funding Distribution

Charter schools in Washington receive all funding directly from the state.

References:
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.220 (Lexis 2019)
Withholdings

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

Entities that authorize charter schools, including local school districts and the Washington State Charter School Commission may receive an oversight fee of no more than four percent of each charter’s funding. The State Board of Education will establish a formula with which to calculate the fee, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will deduct the fee from each charter school’s distribution and transmit the fee to the appropriate authorizer.

References:
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.100 (Lexis 2019)
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.110 (Lexis 2019)
Local Taxes

Charter schools in Washington do not receive a share of revenue raised by local school districts.

In addition, state law specifies that charter schools may not impose taxes or issue tax-backed bonds.

References:
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.030 (Lexis 2019); State Board of Education, “Charter Schools,” FAQs, accessed January 16, 2019,
Data and Reporting
Legal Status

Charter schools in Washington constitute their own local education agencies.

References:
pers. comm. Joshua Halsey, Washington State Charter School Commission, email, January 15, 2019.
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.220 (Lexis 2019)
Student Count

Charter school students in Washington are counted as students of the charter they attend for state reporting purposes.

References:
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.220 (Lexis 2019); pers. comm. Joshua Halsey, Washington State Charter School Commission, email, January 15, 2019
Funding

State funding for charter schools in Washington is reported separately from state funding for any district.

References:
pers. comm. Joshua Halsey, Washington State Charter School Commission, email, January 15, 2019.
Expenditures

Charter school expenditures in Washington are reported separately from expenditures of any school district.

References:
pers. comm. Joshua Halsey, Washington State Charter School Commission, email, January 15, 2019.