Chapter 19.12


How much of Property Tax Increases go to Mandated Chater School Tuition?

Previously, our Daily Data covered the topic of state mandated cost growth for charter school tuition relative to increases in state basic education funding over the last 5 years (2012-13 to 2017-18 school years).
Today, we compare those increases in mandated charter school tuition costs to property taxes and the impact of those costs on local taxpayers. In review, charter school tuition increased to $1.82 billion in 2017-18, up $550 million from $1.27 billion during the 2012-13 school year.
Our map below, compares the 5 year increase in mandated charter school tuition costs (2012-13 to 2017-18) to the 5-year increase in property taxes. The pop-up menu shows the % of each school district's property tax increase that was eaten up by increased charter school tuition costs.

Additionally, the pop-up menu illustrates the amount of property tax $ available to the district to cover the other two growing mandated costs, special education and pensions, after covering all of the charter school tuition increases. Note: for school districts with negative amounts of property tax revenue remaining, either growth in charter school costs outpaced their increase in property taxes or an overall decrease in total property tax revenue was brought in by the school district.

For 40 school districts during this time period, the increase in mandated charter school tuition costs was greater than the increase in their property taxes (the median school district observed an increase in mandated charter tuition costs equal to 149% of their property tax increase). After eating up all of the property tax increases during these 5 years, these 40 school districts still had to pay an additional $50 million collectively for charter school tuition.

Statewide between 2012-13 and 2017-18, the increase in mandated charter school tuition costs represented 24.7% of the increase in school district property taxes. In other words, 25¢ of every new $1 in property taxes during this time frame went towards mandated charter school tuition increases. In other words, the remaining 75¢ went to other areas of school district budgets, primarily mandated cost increases for special education and pensions.

During the 2017-18 school year alone, 37¢ of every $1 of additional property taxes over 2016-17 went to pay for increasing mandated charter school tuition costs.