New Hampshire Alliance for Public Charter Schools


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  • July 01, 2019 3:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Charter school funding and the state budget

    Charter schools will see a small increase in funding in up to three areas after the budget is signed sometime this summer. These will include a minor CPI adjustment to state adequacy aid, a new category of aid called fiscal disparity aid and the funding of charter school lease aid.

    CPI Adjustment to State Adequacy Aid

    All public schools (including charter schools), will receive a CPI adjustment to state adequacy aid (increase), at the beginning of the biennium. The CPI adjustment is meant to adjust the state adequacy aid calculation for the cost of inflation. This will result in a minor increase in funding in the range of $25-$30 per pupil.

    Fiscal Disparity Aid

    Fiscal disparity aid represents the state legislature's attempt to direct additional funding to the schools and districts that need it the most. Additional funding will be calculated using a school's population of students that are eligible to receive Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL). This important category of aid provides additional funding for all public schools.

    • All public schools (including charter schools), with a FRL eligible population of 12%-48% will receive an additional $87.50 in state aid for each pupil meeting this criterion.
    • All public schools (including charter schools), with a FRL eligible population greater than 48% (examples include Compass, Ledyard, MC2, North Country, PACE) will receive an additional $350 in state aid for each pupil meeting this criterion.

    Charter School Lease Aid

    For the first time in state charter history the Governor and state legislators have funded charter school lease aid in the state budget. This means that starting next fiscal year charter school lease aid will provide a reimbursement of up to 30% of the annual cost for rent or lease capping at up to $30,000 per charter school annually. This additional funding will allow charter schools to direct more of their operating dollars to their students and programs.

    Senate increase removed in Committee of Conference

    Parents may remember that the Senate version of the state budget contained a provision which would have increased charter school funding by approximately $300 per pupil. Unfortunately that provision and the accompanying funding were removed from the state budget by the House in the Committee of Conference (CoC). We know that this was incredibly disappointing but that funding is not expected to return in this budget.

  • June 25, 2019 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Different Approaches that Yield Results

    New Hampshire charter schools are mission-driven, open enrollment, public schools of choice. Many of the students choosing to enroll in a charter school do so because they have found that the charter school mission, philosophy or teaching methods best serve their individual learning needs.

    New Hampshire charter schools offer a wide array of exciting options to choose from. For example, the Academy for Science and Design in Nashua (the state’s highest performing high school) offers students a public education focusing on advanced courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Seacoast Charter School in Dover specializes in an Arts & Music integrated education where every student that graduates plays an instrument. Nine charter high schools have opened around the state offering alternative education programs serving educationally disadvantaged and underserved students. Many of the students attending these programs (as many as 40%) have returned to school after dropping out because they have found that the charter program works better for them.

    Other exciting options include the Founders Academy Charter School in Manchester which offers its students a curriculum focusing on a classical education including studies in history, leadership, ethics, debate, business and finance. There is also a new charter high school opening on the campus of Manchester Community College, the Spark Academy of Advanced Technologies which will empower its students with opportunities to master technical skills in the trades in high school and early college programs.

    New Hampshire also has one "Online" charter school, the Virtual Learning Academy. VLACS serves approximately 250 full-time students while simultaneously supplementing the course offerings for thousands of students around the state who take one or more classes while attending their traditional public school.

    These are just a few examples of the public options available to New Hampshire students as public charters endeavor to fill their role within our public education system.

  • June 25, 2019 12:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New Hampshire Charter Schools Struggle to Access

    Facilities Space and Facilities Funding

    A report published by the National Charter School Resource Center highlights the significant challenges that New Hampshire charter schools face in accessing suitable facilities space and acquiring state funding for their facilities. The report, "An Analysis of the Charter School Facility Landscape in New Hampshire," found that New Hampshire charter schools spend their operating dollars on facilities, and that spending varies across different ownership situations including:

    • On average, New Hampshire charter schools reported facilities expenses of $794, or 12.1% of per-pupil revenue;
    • Charter schools that rented from for-profit organizations paid an average of $987 per pupil, or 15.0 percent of state per pupil funding;
    • Charter schools that rented from non-profit organizations paid an average of $619 per pupil, or 9.7 percent of state per pupil funding, while charter schools that were located in district facilities paid an average of $383 per pupil, or 5.7 percent of state per pupil funding.

    When charter schools have no choice but to rent space from for-profit organizations, the annual cost is an average of $1,545 per pupil. These locations often lack the amenities that traditional public schools have such as full kitchen facilities, art spaces, auditoriums, recreation zones and drop-off and pick-up areas.  District facilities are a more cost-effective option however New Hampshire charter schools have very limited access to space in vacant or underutilized district space. Only four charter schools or 17% were located in district-owned facilities. When asked, 70% of charter schools indicated that they would be willing to co-locate with a traditional public school in a district facility if space was offered by the district.

    During the last legislation session a bill was introduced which would have given charter schools the Right of First Refusal, enabling charter schools to rent or lease empty or unoccupied school district facilities. Unfortunately that bill was defeated in the House after an unrelated and unpopular amendment was added to the bill.

    Unlike most other states with charter school laws, New Hampshire charter schools do not receive state or local funding for facilities. Help could be on the way though as Governor Sununu has chosen to fund charter school lease aid in his proposed budget. If the budget is passed charter school lease aid would provide a reimbursement of 30% of the annual cost for rent or lease capping at up to $30,000 per charter school annually.

    If funded, charter school lease aid would represent the first financial assistance for charter school facilities since charter schools began to open over fifteen years ago. This would allow each school to direct more of their operating dollars to where they should be going, to their students and their programs.

  • June 04, 2019 9:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Charter schools are an exciting addition to our public education system. Charter schools allow students the opportunity to choose the public program that best serves their needs even if the school is located outside the student’s resident district. While there are many challenges to operating a successful charter school in New Hampshire one of the most significant is obtaining suitable funding.

    According to a 2014 report by the Center for Education Reform[1], public charter schools receive on average about "64% of the funding per student" that traditional public schools receive. The majority of New Hampshire’s charter schools are state authorized and most do not receive financial support from the student's resident district when a student enrolls at a charter school. These state authorized charter schools receive approximately $7,100 per pupil directly from the state or about 45% of the State Average Cost Per Pupil[2].

    All of the costs associated with operating a charter school (except special education & in-district transportation) are born directly by the per pupil allocation and school fundraising efforts. Funding for New Hampshire charter schools remained flat from 2009 to 2015. This put significant pressure on New Hampshire charter schools putting them at risk for closure. The state legislature took action in the last two budget periods increasing funding for charter schools. This has stabilized many of the charter schools but the funding formula remains “static”.

    All public schools (including charter schools) receive a small CPI adjustment once each biennium. This results in an increase of about $30 per pupil but unlike traditional public schools, charter schools cannot request additional funding from the local district when costs rise. Over time this “static” funding formula will weaken charter school programs as more resources are diverted towards operating costs and away from instructional needs.

    The long-term sustainability of public charter schools can be improved significantly if the state develops a formula that will automatically update the per pupil allocation at the beginning of each biennium. This could be achieved by using the State Average Cost Per Pupil as the base and then multiplying the base by a percentage amount to arrive at reasonable per pupil allocation.

    [1] T. Rebarber, A. Zgainer (2014), "Survey of America's Charter Schools 2014". Center for Education Reform

    [2] STATE AVERAGE COST PER PUPIL AND TOTAL EXPENDITURES 2015-2016, State Average Cost Per Pupil is computed on an annual basis by dividing the Total Sum of all Operating Expenses for all Districts (minus tuition & transportation), by the Total Number of Public School Pupils within the state.

  • March 16, 2018 9:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    IN THE SPRING OF 2017, THE NATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL RESOURCE CENTER(NCSRC), the Colorado League of Charter Schools (the League), the New Hampshire Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NHAPCS) and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (the Alliance) collaborated to collect data and information about charter school facilities and facilities expenditures in the state of New Hampshire. The data collection in New Hampshire was supported by the Charter School Facilities Initiative (CSFI), which is a national project developed by the League to research charter school facilities and facilities expenditures across the country. Click here to download the full report

    Key findings include:

    1. New Hampshire charter schools spend operating dollars on facilities and this spending varies across different ownership situations.

    Charter schools that rented from for-profit organizations (63 percent or 15/24) paid an average of $987 per pupil, or 15.0 percent of state per pupil funding.

    Charter schools that rented from non-profit organizations (17 percent or 4/24) paid an

    average of $619 per pupil, or 9.7 percent of state per pupil funding.

    Charter schools located in district facilities (17 percent or 4/24) paid an average of $383 per

    pupil, or 5.7 percent of state per pupil funding. 

  • October 05, 2017 10:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nashua, NH - The Academy for Science and Design Charter School (ASD), a top-performing public STEM-specialty school serving students in grades 6-12, was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School in an announcement made by U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos on September 28, 2017. ASD is one among 342 public and private schools to receive this designation. School officials will represent the Academy for Science and Design at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November. ASD Director Jennifer Cava shares, “It is an honor to represent not only the dedicated efforts of our school to provide students with a high-quality public education, but the efforts of all New Hampshire public schools who are committed to continuous improvement, success for all students, and increased family and community engagement.”

  • June 07, 2017 11:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Boston 25 News

    "A local boy has received a life-changing gift, a prosthetic arm made by a 3D printer.

    Seven-year-old Harun Halilovic was born with Volkmann Syndrome, which left him with an undeveloped right arm. This prosthetic not only gives him a new hand, but opens a world of possibilities.

    Halilovic is bright - and determined but fate handed him an unexpected limitation.

    “When I was jump roping, I was frustrated, and tying shoes, I was frustrated,” said Harun. His occupational therapist was frustrated, too. She shared Harun’s story with her brother-in-law, Bob Kennett, at a family barbeque.

    “As she talked about it I thought I’m an engineer, there's got to be an easy way to do this,” said Kennett. Bob found the answer inside a 3D printer and online, he found the plans for a prosthetic arm. “And then I thought, you know I bet that the local tech school, the STEM school would be the perfect place to get to do this,” said Kennett.

    Inside Nashua’s Academy for Science and Design, Owen Sullivan and his classmates worked every day for five months to design the pieces for Harun’s arm."

    Click here to read more. 

  • May 24, 2017 4:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Terry Ryan & Paul Hill, CRPE

    "Rural America is not your grandparents’ heartland. Its population is getting older: 21 of the 25 oldest counties in the United States are rural. It’s no longer overwhelmingly white: One in five rural residents is a person of color, and more than four of five new rural residents are people of color. Rural areas are also poorer and, ever since the 2007 recession, more affected by unemployment.

    As rural America changes, its schools have struggled to keep up. On 2015 NAEP assessments, only one in three eighth-grade rural students were proficient in math or reading, about where urban students scored and well below their suburban peers. While rural students are likely to graduate from high school, they lag far behind on every college indicator—applications, admission, attendance, readiness, grades, persistence, and graduation."

    Read more here: 

  • May 24, 2017 2:13 PM | Anonymous member

    KEENE, N.H.  — "Harrison Hicks, 16, sat at a small corner desk in the offices of Filtrine Manufacturing Company, a maker of water filtration equipment, drawing circles as his mentor, Josh Flagg, watched.

    In school, Harrison had just finished studying the circle in geometry. Now he listened intently as Flagg taught him how to use a circle to calculate the angle of a filtration part, which was then going to be manufactured on site.  Flagg said proudly that Harrison was doing “as much as our college-level interns do.”

    Read More!

  • May 05, 2017 3:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    "Add another win to charter schools’ column—this time, courtesy of newly released rankings on the top high schools in the nation from U.S. News and World Report.

    The annual “U.S. News Best High Schools Rankings” was released yesterday, with charter schools notching 60 percent of the top 10 public high schools on the list, as well as the top three slots (those went to a trio of BASIS schools in Arizona). Also, 60 out of the top 100 schools listed were either charter or magnet schools, according to the New York Post."

    Click here to read more 

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