Study of Spending in Public Charter and Traditional Schools in California

This report compares traditional and charter school spending in two traditional districts and two charter management organizations (CMOs).  The results suggest that for two highly regarded CMOs operating in two large urban California districts charter school spending is approximately on par with traditional school spending.  Performing this analysis showed that the lack of comparability of reported charter and district spending in the state’s Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) data as well as opaqueness in special education spending makes comparisons of spending between charter and traditional schools in California difficult. This study was originally commissioned as part of the GDTFII set, but due to delays associated with data acquisition, it is included only as supplemental material.