Chapter 19.11


How does Charter School Tuition Compare to Property Taxes?

For the past week, we’ve been focused on a major school district expenditure: charter school tuition. We’ve examined the charter school tuition formulas and the tuition rates, and we’ve tried to provide some context through which to view this growing cost.

Last week, we viewed a school district’s total charter school costs through the lens of the district’s total state basic education funding. Another lens through which to examine a school district’s charter school costs is the district’s total property tax revenue.

A school district’s charter school/property tax ratio is the amount of property tax revenue collected by a school district represented by its total charter school tuition costs. If a school district has a high charter school/property tax ratio, it means that the school district’s total charter school costs represent a larger portion of the school districts total property tax revenue.

For example, in some school districts, their charter school/property tax ratio is less than 2%—this means that their charter school tuition costs make up less than 2% of their total property tax revenue—or that for every dollar they receive in property tax revenue, they are spending $0.02 on charter school tuition.
In other school districts, for example, the charter school/property tax ratio much higher. In Keystone Central School District, the charter school/property tax ratio is 32.9%, meaning that for every dollar the school district receives in property tax revenue, it is spending almost $0.33 on charter school costs. Additionally, Coatsville Area School District is spending $0.38 on charter school tuition for every dollar of property tax revenue received.

Click on the interactive map below to see how your school district stacks up in its charter school/property tax ratio. The ratio is based on 2016-17 data (the most recent data available), and compares a school district’s total charter school tuition costs to its total property tax revenue.