In a brilliant move Friends of Choice in Urban Schools calculated the loss of public dollars charters received compared to the traditional schools for the fiscal years 2008 to 2012 using enrollment audits 2007 to 2011. The figures are based upon the Levy Report which documented the supplemental appropriations, agency reprogramming, and free services DCPS gets but charters do not even though by law all schools are supposed to receive city money exclusively through the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula calculated on the number of students served.
Mr. Cane, the FOCUS executive director, points out that the numbers do not include disparities resulting from the practice of funding DCPS for its estimated number of students while revenue for charters comes directly from the actual audited number of pupils If that practice had been taken into account the amount lost would have been significantly higher.
The total loss of city operating cash to charters for the years stated above is a staggering $221,184,423. The top ten losses include the following schools:
Community Academy $12,906,673
Cesar Chavez $11,458,783
Carlos Rosario International $8,389,630
Center City $7,546,280
Hyde Leadership $6,491,347
D.C. Preparatory Academy $6,481,793
Many of these institutions serve an extremely high proportion of children who qualify for free or reduced lunch children who start out life with practically insurmountable barriers to academic success. Yet, when the public school funding inequity issue between charters and the traditional schools is brought to the attention of our Mayor and city council the subject is met with silence.