MinnCAN is a part of 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now.

We’re focused on a Minnesota where all students excel in rigorous and relevant schools. Learn more about our impact across the state.

Yesterday, the last day of the government shutdown in Minnesota, leaders of Minnesota's quality charter movement, along with over 300 charter students from the state's highest performing urban charter schools, rallied on the Capitol steps urging Governor Dayton and the legislature for 'fair and equitable' treatment relating to increasing the holdback/shift from 30 percent to 40 percent — a $700 million 'shift, which was one of the mechanisms used to balance the budget and end the 19-day government shutdown.

The increased holdback to schools is bad for school districts but devastating to charter schools.

Minnesota's charter schools bear an unequal and unfair burden of the state's education funding shifts.
Given the fact that traditional school districts have taxing authority and a state guarantee of any loan, districts can typically receive loans with a 1% or less interest rate . Charter schools, which do not have these financing mechanism in place, must pay between 7 percent and 23 percent in loan fees (includes interest, fees and legal expenses). See Nonprofit Assistance Fund, Charter School Partners study on the issue.

Yesterday's incredibly inspiring rally was led by school directors Eric Mahmoud, Harvest Prep and Best Academy, Minneapolis, Mary Donaldson, Concordia Creative Learning Academy, Saint Paul and Bill Wilson, Higher Ground Academy, Saint Paul — three of the highest performing public schools in the state serving a high percentage of families in poverty. (MinnPost, MPR News WCCO-TV)

While the final K-12 education bill, which was finally released late Tuesday, did not include the specific waiver of the additional holdback/shift sought by the charter community, some special consideration was given to charters to accelerate payments from the state to charters to help alleviate the burden.

More importantly, however, Tuesday's event helped clarify this most profound disparity in the funding of charter schools and we in the quality charter community are confident that a more permanent solution to address the inequity can be found in the very near future that might include a state backed loan program or possibly even a state loan fund for charter schools.

Al Fan is the Executive Director of Charter School Partners



Recent Posts

More posts from Uncategorized

See All Posts