Why Do Charter Schools Close?

Source: Ed Reform website, Dec 2011

The research demonstrates that the primary reason charter schools close is related to financial
deficiencies, mainly driven by low student enrollment or inequitable funding.  Fully 41.7 percent
of charter school closures fit into this category, which results when enterprises are not financially sound and should be closed.
Nationwide, charter schools are funded at only 68 percent of their conventional school counterparts, according to the 2010 Annual Survey of America’s Charter Schools.  When charters begin their operations at a deficit because they don’t receive facilities assistance and are receiving less money than other public schools, those deficits can prove to be insurmountable.  The main reason that charter schools start at such a disadvantage is due to state charter school laws that do not ensure equitable funding or facilities help.  Charters are forced to close, or to give up their charter, because weak funding laws force their hand.
Why Charter Schools Close
It is said that a few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch.  But indeed the fact that nearly a quarter of all closed charter schools closed because of ethical violations, makes a big impression on advocates and opponents alike.  Fully 24 percent of all charter schools that are closed do so for reasons related to administrator or sponsor misbehavior.  Sponsors of these schools may deliberately misspend, misrepresent, or refuse to hold the charter school accountable to its contract. 

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