In addition to the poverty weights and the ELL weight, the BEF formula has an additional student-specific weight—one for charter school students.
In developing the BEF formula, the Commission recognized that school districts face stranded costs when students leave school districts to attend charter schools. Unless resident students are attending charter schools in neat groups of 25 from each grade, school districts cannot consolidate resources or make any significant changes to offset the loss of a student. In fact, these stranded costs, in addition to the charter school tuition, frequently result in increased costs for school districts.
Therefore, the Commission included the application of a charter school weight in the BEF formula—a weight of 0.2 applied to each charter school ADM. Just like the other student-specific weights, a school district’s total charter school ADMs are multiplied by 0.2. The product is the charter school add-on ADMs in the formula.
For example, Erie SD in Erie County had 2124.34 CS ADMs in the 2018-19 BEF formula. To calculate the school district’s CS weighted ADMs, the formula multiplies the 2124.34 by the charter school weight of 0.2, resulting in charter school weighted ADMs to be added on for that district.
In comparison to the other weights, the charter school weight has a minimal impact in most school districts. However, where school districts have larger populations of charter school students, the weight has a bit more significance.
Click on the map below to review the number of charter school ADMs in each school district and the charter school add-on ADMs used in the BEF formula.