Anchorage Charter Schools are Stymied by Lack of Facilities and Financing

Charter schools in the Anchorage School District have a difficult time starting up and continuing operating due to serious constraints on locating and financing facilities. These charter schools are on their own when locating adequate physical facilities for their students. Unlike Massachusetts, where charter schools receive $893 per student for facilities, charter schools receive little help in funding. The District even charges fair market rent to charters for using District facilities. Time to have another bake sale.

(By William Donovan,Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research)

Founders of charter public schools are educators
and visionaries. They imagine schools that offer
varying learning environments, where novel
approaches stimulate creativity and students
reach their full educational potential. They share
their ideas with others, concepts catch fire and
eventually enough people take the leap.
It’s at that point that dreams meet reality and
charter founders realize creating an actual school
is a magnificent goal, but an arduous process.
Particularly challenging is finding or constructing
a physical place to teach the students. As
educators they aren’t real estate developers or
architects or contractors. Nor are they lawyers or
bank loan officers. Yet the skills and experience
of all those professionals are required to create a
school facility.
Historically in the United States charter public
schools have not received building assistance
funds from their state governments or district
authorities. Nor have they had the ability to levy
taxes. Rather, they’ve dipped into tuition money
meant for general operations, combined it with
private donations and loan or grant programs,
and over time raised enough capital to purchase
or build a suitable school.(read more)