The effects of charter school enrollment losses and tuition reimbursements on school districts: Lifting boats or sinking them?

Bryan A. Mann, Paul Bruno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We analyze a natural experiment in which policymakers in Pennsylvania first implemented, and later removed, reimbursements to districts for students exiting to brick and mortar and cyber charter schools. Generalized difference-in-difference models show that larger shares of students enrolling in charter schools predict decrements in spending, financial health, and achievement in sending districts; however, these relationships attenuate in years when districts receive reimbursements. After receiving reimbursements, districts with increased competition spent more on instruction and instructional support services, but not on facilities or non-instructional operations. Perhaps due to higher instructional expenditures, the relationship between competition and student achievement in reimbursement years is significantly less negative, and at times even positive, compared to non-reimbursement years. Cyber charter schools induce fewer instructional expenditures in districts than brick and mortar charter schools. The findings show clear policy choices can support traditional public systems experiencing competition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEducational Policy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • charter schools
  • competition
  • economics of education
  • education policy
  • school choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of charter school enrollment losses and tuition reimbursements on school districts: Lifting boats or sinking them?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this