A Financial Analysis of the Chicago Charter Schools: A Financial Indicator Analysis and Primer

October 04, 2011

This 170-page report is a comprehensive examination of Chicago charter school finances and financial performance in fiscal years 2007 and 2008. The primary purpose is to provide a first-ever financial analysis of Chicago’s charter schools. In addition, the report is a primer on charter schools, providing an overview of national charter school research, an outline of charter school funding models, a review of the legislative history of charter schools in Illinois and information about the funding of Illinois and Chicago charter schools. The report specifically:

  • Reviews the historical evolution of Chicago’s charter schools;
  • Reviews comparative research on models of charter school funding and organization around the nation;
  • Identifies and evaluates the sources of charter school revenues in Illinois;
  • Identifies and analyzes how the Chicago Public Schools per pupil allocation to charter schools is determined;
  • Identifies and analyzes how much CPS spends per pupil for charter schools on a system-wide basis and on a school-based level;
  • Identifies and evaluates how Chicago charter schools spend money;
  • Compares charter school spending with that of other public schools in CPS;
  • Identifies other services CPS offers to charter schools in addition to per pupil allocations;
  • Evaluates charter school fiscal viability;
  • Identifies whether Chicago charter schools employ sound financial practices; and
  • Assesses Chicago charter school financial performance.

Click here to read the press release for this report.