Charter Schools are in a way a special kind of public schools – the main difference is that they are run by independent identities. Hence, they have a degree of autonomy as compared to regular public schools. This structure makes and the charter school be more accountable with how it runs, the programs it offers, the quality of education it offers, and its output. Like public schools, charter schools also receive funding from the state on a per student basis and therefore do not charge tuition fees. This means that every student receives funding, and that more students mean more funding.
If charter schools already receive funding from the state, why is there a need to get funding? Even with state funding, it does not mean that funding is always adequate and sufficient. More often than not, charter schools are given a small (if at all) start up fund. This means that the charter school administration find means and ways to build the school – by converting old buildings into school buildings and classrooms, warehouses into gyms, etc. Charter schools often build the school as they get along, fortifying the brick and mortar establishment as they find more funds to spend on these. Sometimes too, charter schools want to give more or have activities and programs that need funding more than what the state provides.
If you are looking into getting funding for charter schools, this guideline can be useful:
- Check public funding. Before going out there looking for funding, check first that you are getting what you should. Ask for fund increase – it will not always be given but it is worth a try.
- Look for alternative sources of grants and funds. With the increasing popularity because of the success of charter schools, private institutions are more willing to give grants to charter schools. Look for grants being offered by banks and businesses, especially the ones with corporate responsibility programs and those that support education advocacies. You can also ask for pledges – draft a letter of request making sure to include the reason why you need the fund and how it will be used. Just make sure that the integrity of the school is preserved – that you would not be liable to uphold the donor’s interests at the sake of the school’s values and virtues.
- Consider fund-raising activities. Charter schools have the autonomy and freedom to manage its finances, and this includes scrounging for their own funds. You can do fund-raising activities like concerts, exhibits, and plays. Make sure that the proceeds are accounted for and the documents showing these are accessible.
You can also engage the school and your community in an effort to make the charter school the best it could be. This way even the students and the community will be invested in the charter school. You can have a project to build a gym or a library and the community is welcome to help make it a reality. After all, it is the community that really makes up the school, and this is for them too.