A Look At DC Public Charter School Finances: Revenue And Spending Per Student

Charter schools serve over 44 percent of all public school students in the District and are funded with over $600 million in local resources. Understanding how the charter school sector spends these resources on a school level is critical for DC government and the public to conduct adequate financial oversight.

The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) releases an annual report called the Financial Audit Review (FAR).  The FAR is intended to provide the public with greater detail on the financial health of each public charter school or local educational agency (LEA) in DC and assist the PCSB with financial oversight. The report includes snapshots from the previous year’s financial audit that is required of each public charter school. This brief offers an overview of DC’s charter school finances, with key trends in revenue and spending at the per-pupil level from the fiscal year 2014 (school year 2013-2014) FAR report. The full report produced by PCSB can be found online.

This report also makes recommendations for improving the transparency of financial information provided by public charter schools.

What Can You Find in the FAR Report

  • Total amount of funding each charter LEA receives from DC, federal funds, philanthropy, and other income
  • Total revenue and expenses for each charter LEA
  • Amount of unrestricted cash and days of cash on hand per LEA
  • Amount of current, total, and net assets per LEA
  • Net cash from operations
  • Total amount of debt due in FY 2015 and FY 2016

To read the complete report, click here.

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