Questions Re: Governor’s Proposed $10 Million in Funding for Charter School Facilities
Why shouldn’t charter schools go through the same process that traditional public schools use if it is good public policy to provide public charter schools with facility funding?
Why does this proposal create a process that bypasses biannual adequacy studies and the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation that every traditional public school must follow?
Why fund public charter school facilities when traditional public school facility needs remain unmet?
The existing funding for traditional public school facilities is already depleting, and was cut an additional $16 million annually last year to shore up the teacher health insurance policy.
Shouldn’t we assess the needs for all public school facilities in Arkansas and the current level of equity in our facilities, including those of public charter schools?
The overall needs of Arkansas’ traditional public school facilities have not been comprehensively reviewed since 2004.
Has there been a needs study for charter schools to justify creating a new state funding and facility program ahead of meeting traditional public school needs?
Don’t funding decisions made without comprehensive assessments have the potential to create inequitable systems that fail to meet the needs of some students?
What are the rules for how these charter school facility dollars will be used?
Which charter schools will qualify for facilities funding and which will not?
Who will own the buildings in cases where private money is also used for facilities that are managed by private organizations?
Who is responsible for facility loan repayment if a charter school is unable to repay the facilities loans from this fund?
What happens to the facilities that were partially paid for with state tax dollars if a charter school closes or is closed by the state for nonperformance?
Will charter schools have to show efficiency in their use of State Facility Revenue?
Will there be State Building Standards used when State Facility Revenue is used for charter schools?
Does this precedent create an ongoing responsibility to provide public charter schools with facility funding?
Is the Legislature prepared to raise new revenue to add a new category of schools to the facilities obligation of the state?
Could we place the state in legal jeopardy for adequacy or equity by funding charter school facilities when we are not sure that we are meeting the basic facility needs of many traditional public schools?