During agenda item #4 on today’s calendar, the Commission will receive a presentation from the State Public Charter School Authority comparing budgets for 19 charter schools using the Nevada Plan and the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan. In the State Public Charter School Authority analysis, these schools with an enrollment of 37,783 students would receive a cumulative increase of just over $16M or 5.8%.
But the reality is this. In modeling presented to the Commission by Applied Analysis last month, the transfer from neighborhood public schools to charter schools after the activation of the new funding model would be much more significant. According to this modeling, charter schools are estimated to receive $329,644,119 in the current fiscal year with the Nevada Plan.
Under the new “pupil-centered funding plan” their calculated distribution would be $397,802,683, an increase of over $68 million or 20%!
NSEA has consistently cautioned SB543 would result in a multi-million-dollar giveaway to charter schools. While the “hold harmless” provisions would delay part of this annual charter windfall for a number of years, as most other school districts are frozen in place, it is clear the transfer of precious dollars from neighborhood public schools to billionaire-backed charters is the essence of SB543.
Tomorrow, the Interim Finance Committee will consider the Governor’s proposal to close an $812M budget shortfall in FY20, including a $265M shortfall in local revenue to the DSA. According to the Nevada Independent, these cuts include $5.3M from the Pupil Centered Funding Plan. As we prepare for a special session to deliberate what could be another $1B budget shortfall, moving forward with SB543 is not the answer Nevada schools need. SB543 will not safely reopen schools. SB543 will not bring greater transparency. SB543 will not bring greater education equity. And SB543 is not truly centered on the student, 90% of whom attend our neighborhood public schools.