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RI Charter Public Schools Receive More Than 15,000 Applications - A New Record

Thursday, May 04, 2017

 

RI Charter Public Schools Receive 15,430 Applications

Rhode Island charter public schools received a total of 15,430 applications for the 1,770 open sets available for the 2017-18 school year. The number represents an increase of 5.5% over the previous record of 14,628 set last year. 

The numbers come according to data put together by the Rhode Island Department of Education. 

"These numbers demonstrate that Rhode Island families are demanding, more than ever before, quality public school choice options. As a state, we must continue working to support great public schools, including traditional, charter, and career and technical public schools. Our students thrive in an education system that embraces and supports different learning needs,” said Timothy Groves, executive director of the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools.

This is the first time that applications to Rhode Island charter public schools have gone over 15,000 and represents a 29% increase in applications since the spring of 2014. 

Charter Schools in RI 

Charter public schools currently educate approximately 8,000 students, or just over 5% of the state's public school population. 

Charter schools are public schools, and when the applications to a charter public school exceed the number of open seats in that school, all of those applications go into a blind lottery held annually on March 1. Applicants who are randomly selected from the lottery pool are offered admission.

Rhode Island's 15 independent and three district charter schools range in size, but average about 300 students per school. 

Some schools are open to all public school students from across the state, and others are open to public school students in more narrowly defined geographical regions. 

Some are K-12, while others are K-5 or high school only. 

Families may apply to more than one charter school if they so choose. 

 

Related Slideshow: Charter School Costs to School Districts

The below data show one of the biggest areas of funding losses to charter schools: special education. The gap is demonstrated by comparing per pupil costs for special education for the district and charter schools. Despite having far lower costs, districts must pay tuition to charters as if their costs were the same, resulting in a potential overpayment to the charter and a loss of much-needed funding in the district. Those losses—due to special education alone, not other factors—are listed at the bottom of each slide. Only those districts that lost $50,000 or more are listed. Districts are listed in order of least to greatest losses. Financial data are from the report of the Rhode Island House of Representatives’ Special Commission to Study and Assess Rhode Island’s ‘Fair Funding Formula,’ released May 18. Attendance figures are from the Rhode Island Department of Education. All data are for fiscal year 2014. 

NOTE: Total actual district losses displayed below are based on the difference for per-pupil special education cost for each charter school to which the district sent students. The average for all charters is shown here for illustrative purposes. Due to limited space, the averages for each charter that each district is sending students to are not shown. The total actual district losses were calculated as follows: The difference between each district’s per-pupil cost and each one of the charters to which it sent students was calculated. The difference was then multiplied by the number of students the district sent to that charter to calculate how much was being lost to each charter. The loss each district experienced for each charter was then added up to get the total amount that district was losing overall to charters. 

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17.

West Warwick

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,793

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 22

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $60,873

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16.

Exeter-West Greenwich 

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $4,332

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 32

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $79,522

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15.

Westerly

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,828

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 43

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $84,729

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14.

Chariho

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $2,923

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 84

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $86,495

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13.

Coventry

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,117

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 52

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $93,111

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12.

North Providence

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $4,246

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 45

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $131,749

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11.

North Kingstown

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,268

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 113

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $144,173

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10.

South Kingstown

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,942

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 77

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $155,384

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9.

Johnston

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $5,010

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 39

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $157,544

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8.

Warwick

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $4,017

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 64

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $195,221

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7.

East Providence 

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $4,324

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 55

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $195,633

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6.

Woonsocket

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,683

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 120

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $313,435

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5.

Cumberland

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $2,536

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 350

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $417,341

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4.

Lincoln

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $4,179

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 168

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $474,707

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3.

Cranston

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,740

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 200

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $564,566

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2.

Central Falls

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $4,979

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 1,061

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $3,560,025

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1.

Providence

District Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $3,625

Average Charter Per Pupil Special Education Cost: $1,332

# Students to Charters: 2,905

Total Actual District Losses to Charters: $6,843,191

 
 

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