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Charter School Facilities

Image of a School

January 2016
Author: Tara Bergfeld

Legislative Brief

As the number of public charter schools across the United States has increased, several states have created programs or passed legislation related to funding facilities for charter schools. Public charter schools are a relatively new component for local funding bodies and school districts in terms of school facilities funding and planning. By law, charter schools are established and funded as separate entities in contrast to traditional public schools, which are funded as a part of a school district. Unlike traditional schools, which are the property of the local board of education, most charter schools either lease, own, or have financed to own their school facility. Following approval by an authorizer – a local board of education, the Achievement School District (ASD), or the State Board of Education – most charter schools become responsible for securing their own school facility. This report examines facilities funding for charter schools and traditional public schools in Tennessee, provides information on the facilities arrangements for Tennessee’s charter schools, and describes efforts in Tennessee and other states to provide charter schools with facilities-related assistance.