Are Charter Schools Getting More Money into the Classroom? A Micro-Financial Analysis of First Year Charter Schools in Massachusetts

October 2000

This report examines the first-year finances of Massachusetts charter schools. By exploring the financial statements of the Commonwealth's first fifteen charter schools, we gained insights into how the boards of trustees of these schools managed the tension between meeting their academic goals and simply surviving as new organizations.

We examined the revenue and expenditure patterns of these schools and compared their spending to national district norms. Finally, based on our findings, this paper offers recommendations to charter school leaders, policy makers, and foundations.