SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers may be changing the way charter schools are funded in the hope of improving equity between charters and district schools.
The Charter School Funding Task Force on Wednesday made several recommendations to the Education Interim Committee, one of which is to require charter and district schools to follow the same process in determining enrollment.
Currently, most charters choose to receive per-pupil funding based on an annual Oct. 1 student census, which then sets funding for the rest of the year, even if students leave the school or new students enroll. Districts, on the other hand, are given funding based on average daily membership, an ongoing measurement that allows funding to be adjusted.
Since the one-time head-count system used by charters is scheduled to sunset next year, those schools could move toward the same system used by district schools.
“It’s good policy for both of them to be on the same playing field,” said Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, House chairman of the task force.
But the change would come with a price. If charters switch over to the same enrollment model used by districts, charters could collectively lose about $6 million in annual student funding. Having